Owen Gleiberman
May 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Shape of Things

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
97 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/09/03
performer
Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Frederick Weller
director
Neil LaBute
distributor
Focus Features
author
Neil LaBute
genre
Drama

We gave it a C+

What, exactly, is the audience to make of Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), the hateful yet sexy grad student who’s the focal point of Neil LaBute’s latest misanthropic meat grinder? An imperious art-theory major, Evelyn accepts a date with dorky Adam (Paul Rudd), then subjects him to an identity makeover: new haircut, new clothes, new nose. There’s some skillfully intense dialogue, but the movie is didactic. LaBute has come to declare the death of love, and damned if he’ll let any human beings get in the way of his thesis.

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