The Guys (2002)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

USA, 2002.  ContentFilm, Open City Films.  Screenplay by , Jim Simpson, based on the play by Anne Nelson.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 is called upon to give a eulogy at the funeral of his fellow firefighters who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Feeling the need to get it right, he hires a writer (Sigourney Weaver) to help him shape the piece into what he wants to say, but how to do that when he can’t understand his own feelings on the subject? Weaver takes the project on willingly, especially as her state of mind is just as convoluted as his, and she finds the perfect opportunity to do something proactive about it. A film about September 11th sounds like a callously exploitative idea, but this is no dramatic thrill ride.  It’s a subtle, sad tribute to the fallen heroes of that day which was commissioned as a play by Weaver (who starred in it with Bill Murray in LaPaglia’s role) in an effort to show that art can be a part of the healing process; she is directed here by her husband Jim Simpson (who appears as her husband, while their daughter plays her daughter in the film as well). Whereas the play found itself on the stage within months of the attacks, and therefore had palpable resonance considering the headspace its audience was in, the movie’s effect is much weaker and the script’s power has dissipated with time. The characters are well written and the dialogue deep, but the overall emotional effect isn’t quite as powerful as one hoped it would be. Still, it’s an important project and a good cinematic marker for one of the most notable events ever to capture the modern world’s attention.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2002

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s