Every great romantic comedy needs a great obstacle to keep the lovers apart. In a brilliant innovation, the new film Going to Pieces has not one, but two. Better bring a box of Kleenex.
Maddy, played by Angelina Jolie, is a rank-and-file investment banker for a swanky Manhattan firm. City stress and loneliness keep her on what she calls her "cycle": every three years, she has a complete nervous breakdown. When we meet her, the voices in her head have told her to barricade herself in her West Village studio. Wearing three-week-old sweats, watching a VHS of The Invisible Man over and over, under the delusion that if she consumes only clear liquid she, too, will become invisible, she compulsively prowls internet dating sites like her life depends on finding a mate. Maybe it does.
We next meet Stu, another tricky role essayed by the always-nimble Brad Pitt. Stu does not have a profile on eHarmony. He doesn’t own a computer. After a tragic accident with a band saw, he doesn’t even have fingers. What he does have is a terrible acne flair up and low self-esteem. He has just gotten out of prison after serving six years of a ten year sentence for holding up a liquor store; his sentence was reduced when it was pointed out that he couldn’t possibly have pulled the trigger.
As everyone knows, the two most attractive people in a movie, regardless of the fact that Pitt’s face is swathed in cotton bandages, are the perfect match. But if Maddy believes that all men are aliens from another dimension, and Stu spends all his time casing liquor stores in a black coat and sunglasses, how can these loony, leprous lovers even meet, let alone fall in love?
The answer comes in the form of Maddy’s wisecracking friend Rhoda, played by Rosie O’Donnel. When she glimpses Stu’s uniform under his black coat, Rhoda hits on a plan. She calls Pink Dot, and orders a fifth of voldka for Maddy’s apartment, asking for the bandaged delivery boy who looks like Claude Rains in The Invisible Man . When Maddy sees Stu through the peephole, we hold our breath. Will she open the door?
Going to Pieces was co-created by husband-and-wife team Nora Ephron and Oliver Stone. Fresh off their success as children’s’ book authors, the pair searched for inspiration in sick joke books before being gobsmacked by what will surely be a $200 million plot. And in a unique double-blind experiment, Ephron wrote and directed all the female scenes while Stone, without consulting her, did all the male scenes.
Like Maddy and Stu, WFIU is also greater than the sum of its parts; but an important part of our success is you. We rely on the support of our listeners to continue to provide the theater and movie reviews and interviews, and all the other quality shows, you know and love. If you will do your part, we promise you won’t have to listen to another gag review like this one until next year. Reviewing fake movies for WFIU, this is Peter Noble-Kuchera.