I have acting students who loved it. Obviously they are depressed, unhopeful people. (I may have to change my teaching of them accordingly.) I found the film slow, dull, pretentious, and meaningless, especially in its attempt at meaning-full-ness. I was consistently put off by it's offering of maga-doses of unknowing pauses and reactions between characters substituting for profoundly complex character studies. I assume the director's/editor's slow pace was an attempt at a director's creative indication: shouting: "something significant is going on onscreen!!! (when nothing is).
" Come to think of it, such pauses-as-indications-of-profundity is a signature of its writer-director, Jim Jarmusch. See his earlier film Coffee and Cigartettes
(NO! Don't see it!!)
Bill Murray in this film is a depressed (in fact a less-than-funny Bob Newhart of a prior generation) playing a doleful unmarried man in his early fifties who has financuially succeeded at technology but seems to be failing at life: witness a girlfriend who leaves him in the first scene of the film due to his ongoing lack of committment. Next scene: enter a pink letter from an ostensibly old lover who informs him he is the father of a twenty year old son. And the son is on his way to visit old dad. The film's plot, such as it is, begins. Bill Murray is sent off on a search for the mother of his child to clear up his paternity or non-paternity, as the case may be. Actually, he doesn't have the energy/desire for the quest. He is pushed into it by a neighbor who loves children. How do you know? He has lots of them and they always play in front of his house!Which leads us to Bill Murray's journey, and his series of old lovers.
They appear on screen as a sad residue of male hit-and-run experiences (for them), leading us to desperate, fucked-up Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange and the female lead from Six Feet Under who tries to look beautiful and sexy but doesn't quite make it and Sharon Stone's daughter, called Lolita, who was the highlight of the film for me, by the way: Call me Humbert-Humbert; but at least she had energy to have wants and desires and not be be tired and bitter and settling for half).
As I watched Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange, I realized why I have this uneasy and uncomfortable feelin about face-lifts. They look like the faces on skin-grafted burn victims. The taut, unresponsive skin, which worked by the way for the great character actor Jack Palance (purported truly a burn victim when young). But his success arose from his being 'The Man You Loved To Hate' ( a 'heavy') not someone designed to inspire you to have sex with them. Sex still has something to do with humanity, doesn't it? Oh well, I could go on and on....but I won't...although the film does. I recommend your not seeing see the film. Unless, of course your life is as depressing as the film's. In that case you will be uplifted by its compatible and identifiabe message of doom, gloom, and its ultimate message: men are horrible; they have fucked up women's lives by their lack of commitment. (Unless, of course, women such as the ones portrayed on screen began
fucked-up and that's men like Bill Murray never committed to them.)