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I Love Your Work (2004)
I Love Your Work is an American psychological thriller film completed in 2003 and released theatrically in 2005. The film was directed by Adam Goldberg and written by Goldberg and Adrian Butchart. An indictment of celebrity culture, it was not a commercial success. The cast includes Giovanni Ribisi, Christina Ricci, and Vince Vaughn. The movie premiered on September 5, 2003 at the Toronto Film Festival. The DVD was distributed by THINKFilm on March 28, 2006. Gray Evans, a movie star, is losing his grip on reality, unable to adjust to his own celebrity, and addicted to romantic fantasies about idealistic love and his once simple life. With his celebrity marriage to the beautiful actress Mia already strained by jealousy and frustration after only a year together, Gray is looking for escape. An avid photographer, his voyeuristic nature leads him to a local video store, where an encounter with the video clerk's wife Jane leads to a dangerous obsession over what he imagines to be an ideal love.
His Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi) is a movie star who can't go far without being recognized and adulated, but he's being led down the path of depression by psychotic paranoia spiked with narcissism. He's married to his boyhood idol, Mia (Franka Potente), who truly loves him, but she's more the inspiration for distrust than love and joy. Self-destruction lurks in the wings.
He begins to see one of his fans (Jason Lee) as a stalker and hires Israeli security expert Yehud (Jared Harris), operating as a P.I., to check him out. Again, when he suspects the chance meeting and re-meeting of a guy named John (Joshua Jackson), who runs a book store, as more than a coincidence, he brings Yehud back in and sets him to surveil the new manifestation of his disease. When he becomes satisfied that John and his girlfriend Jane (Marisa Coughlan) are as unthreatening as they appear (and as uninteresting), he begins an involvement with them that has nothing but a deranged nuttiness behind it.
All the while, he keeps recalling his past relationship with Shan (Christina Ricci) as some sort of ideal that his current life doesn't live up to. This becomes recurring imagery until psychosis builds and takes over. He then cross-projects past and present, imagining Mia and others as part of that fantasized past and Shan as part of his present, mixing reality and delusion into a pointless stew.
It all might have worked as a portrait of a cool actor losing his mind if it weren't done with such an excess of technique and over-elaboration.
Okay, Ribisi is a good actor, but themes of obsession and voyeurism are all so overproduced that the quality of his performance is drowned in length and visual excess. Potente (Run Lola Run, The Bourne Supremacy) as a reigning diva of the screen, provides a new page in her portfolio, though there's not enough in the part to make waves. Ricci is as dreamy as her imagined existence, and Jared Harris is a breath of fresh air for turning his stereotypical role into something colorful. Given more screen time, he might have stolen the show.
Vince Vaughn and Elvis Costello appear in refreshing cameos that, for brief moments, promise some dramatic direction but, in the end, provide no therapy for the general indulgence with celebrity madness and film festival hipness.
The DVD includes a commentary track and several isolated musical tracks.
What's for dessert?