The only thing worse than films about filmmaking are artsy films about filmmaking. These are hazardous affairs at best. Don’t get me wrong; I thrive on a steady diet of behind the scenes features and film trade magazines. But a film in that vein can’t help but become pretentious. Enter I Love Your Work. It’s very hard to tell when Adam Goldberg is trying to be serious and when he’s aiming for satire. I hope it was mostly the latter.
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to g…t you. Gray Evans (Ribisi) is one of those quick-rising stars. He’s obviously more in love with himself than his legions of adoring fans. His self-loving world, however, is turned upside down when it appears he is being stalked by a crazy fan. The film allows for the chance this is all in his head, and there’s the fatal flaw. Much of this film appears to occur in Gray’s head, and it’s not a terribly exciting place to hang out. In a predictable spin, the couple he thinks might be stalking him reminds him of an earlier relationship before he was a big star. Now it seems Gray is the real stalker. The film is all style and absolutely no substance. At one point in the film Gray is watching snow on his television. I knew I was in trouble when I started to know exactly how he felt just then. This is also the kind of indy film where many of the actors are the filmmaker’s friends. Goldberg takes some pride in this point. The end result is watching sub par actors pretending to be actors who are pretending to be actors. Make it stop. Cameos by Vince Vaughn and Elvis Costello can’t even save this mess.
The 1.78:1 film transfer seems to deny the indy low budget feel of the film. This is a pretty nice transfer. The presentation is exceptionally sharp with fine contrast and detail. Excellent black levels and almost no compression artifact. A solid average bit rate of 6.5mbps is a standout. At times the cinematography is quite annoying. Often the camera utilizes a very tightly centered field of focus. Almost everything outside the center is blurred. This might as well have been a pan and scan presentation for all the effect is worth.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix is adequate. Dialogue is often too soft, however, and some of the conversation is hard to catch. Several times I had to turn on the subtitles so I could be sure of what was being said but they were in Spanish. Far too much work for such a bad film.There is an audio commentary with Goldberg and Ribisi. They don’t have a heck of a lot to say. There are awkward moments of silence throughout. Another flaw is that they tell us they are watching a pan and scan version of the film and later admit they did not know what format the DVD release would be. Since Goldberg wore all of the major hats in the film, you would expect him to be better informed.
There is a musical gallery where we are treated to snippets of the film’s musical cues. Again most of this stuff seems to come from local friends and is not too terribly exciting to hear again.
The truth is, this film spent over two years sitting in a can somewhere trying to find an outlet. It was obviously really made for the film festival circuit. That’s likely where this film should have stayed. If you’re a fan of the indy film festival struggles, this one might be an OK rental. Otherwise, leave it far alone. I certainly DID NOT like this work. The ads call the film gripping, intense, and witty. “As if we haven’t heard that before.”.
Special Features List
- Commentary with Giovanni Ribisi and Director Adam Goldberg
- Music gallery