Owen Gleiberman
September 11, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I Married a Strange Person

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Animation

We gave it a C

Bill Plympton, the maestro of twisty-faced animated Dada who made a splash on MTV in the early ’90s, keeps trying to stretch himself — literally. He drew every single frame of his latest feature, and it’s undeniably a labor of love (not to mention lust). A fun-house-mirror reflection of courtship, sex, marriage, and a great many other things, I Married a Strange Person might have made a classic half-hour short. Plympton’s casually transmogrifying, id-on-the-loose style, with its supple, almost infantile fixation on flesh, is the perfect vehicle to chart the irrepressible whims of the erotic imagination, and he’s concocted a bedroom scene that’s as inspired and uproarious as anything in the Plympton canon; it reaches its deranged peak when the elastic-brained hero tweaks his wife’s breasts into balloon animals. After that, though, the filmmaker doesn’t know where to stop, shooting off into a bizarre military plot (marriage is like warfare, get it?). Having giggled through his riffs on the enticements and anxieties of sex, we’re forced to spend the entire second half staring slack-jawed at tanks, explosions, mad generals, and other ’60s-”satirical” bombast. Rarely has more been so definitively less. C

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