Viewed – 06 April 2014 Netflix
Bill Murray for me is one of those comedy actors I sometimes am not sure if I find funny. Back in the 80s yes he had some interesting movies (most notably Ghostbusters) and is a fairly likeable actor … but funny? His style of dry, understated humour goes a little over my head. Here he stars as a world-weary business man who receives an anonymous letter in the post one day from an old girlfriend, telling him he has a nineteen year old son who may or may not be trying to track him down. With the help of wannabe private eye next door neighbour Jeffrey Wright, he embarks on a journey to track down various old flames in the hope of discovering who wrote the letter.
Directed with a gentle, whimsical style by Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Dead Man) and with a quiet but enjoyable turn by Murray I found this involving and enjoyed the various encounters and characters that crop up, including a trailer-trash Sharon Stone and a hippy-new age Jessica Lang. The story itself was fascinating and certainly got me thinking of the various people we might affect in our lives without knowing. Think of a cross between High Fidelity and Lost In Translation, even if this movie remains in both their shadows.
That being said it is also a story that like the main character, might leave you perplexed, chasing dead ends and not getting anywhere. It was also in need of some larger than life situations and sharper dialogue (although Jeffrey Wright steals the show). I was left with the impression this was meant to be a movie you just relax and take in, which I suppose makes for perfect Sunday afternoon viewing.
Verdict: 3 /5