I Love Your Work (2003)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama, Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 4, 2005 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Adam Goldberg has artsy pretensions to spare in I Love Your Work, his solipsistic consideration of celebrity, obsession, and the desire to live in another's shoes -- even if those shoes are more scuffed than the ones you're wearing. To focus only on the anxiety of famous actors stalked by fans would be navel gazing, but indeed, the hipster actor and sophomore writer-director seems like he's starting out that way. In the starring role, Giovanni Ribisi personifies every terminally hip actor who shrinks away from making eye contact, who sees every random interaction as the public's attempt to bask in his reflected glow. But I Love Your Work is no simple portrait of unidirectional hero worship. Goldberg is interested in the pre-fame/post-fame dichotomy, and in genuinely questioning which grass is greener. Relatively new to fame, Ribisi's Gray Evans is grappling with the adjustment of no longer taking pleasure in being recognized. But he's also fondly remembering a "normal girl" (Christina Ricci) he once loved -- a girl who predicted he'd leave her when he became famous, in fact. His futile grasp for what he once had is as much this film's focus as his paranoid defense of his current life, and Goldberg constructs the action so it's unclear how much of what's happening is actually real. Unfortunately, this is also where I Love Your Work frustrates and intentionally confounds our expectations for clear narrative resolution. In his second directing effort after 1998's Scotch and Milk -- which also featured Goldberg pals Ribisi and Nicky Katt, and also meditated on lost love -- Goldberg seems a little too impressed with his own New Wave stylings and blurring of character identities. I Love Your Work goes off the rails enough times that it must be considered an interesting failure, but there's no doubt that it's interesting.