DVD Review

Wristcutters: A Love Story & r & & r & by TAMMY MARSHALL & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & fter a young man named Zia (Patrick Fugit) decides to slit his wrists, the unthinkable happens -- he ends up in a world even crappier than this one. In Wristcutters, he's doomed to wander through one lackluster building after another, each of them filled with the dreary dead -- all people who committed suicide, all now trapped in a sort of purgatory.

Zia begins a journey through this world of the undead when he discovers that his girlfriend killed herself shortly after he did. The film then tramples into a series of predictable gags about abortive suicides that just didn't quite work out in terms of time or circumstance. For example, Zia's friend and journey companion Eugene (Shea Whigham) had committed suicide by electrocuting himself onstage after an audience began booing and howling at his Russian rock band.

While Zia and Eugene are traveling from drab town to drab town searching for Zia's lost love, they pick up a hitchhiker named Mikal (Shannon Sossamon), who's on her own epic journey. She needs to find the People in Charge because she doesn't belong among the suicides and wants to return to the world she remembers. In this society of sadness, Mikal lives on the fringes. On occasion, she smiles -- something unnatural in this world of hopelessness.

Mikal also likes to defile signs. At one point, as a joke, she tears the 'No' off a 'No Exit' sign. While she is being arrested for this, a Vietnam vet recalls his suicide during a massive battle against the Viet Cong. This is probably the best executed moment of the film. In a flashback, you see him on the frontlines; instead of fighting, he decides to stick his gun in his own mouth. Just as there was no exit from the Vietnam War, there is no exit from Suicide Purgatory.

When Zia realizes that he can only perform miracles when he isn't trying to, his problem with life is finally revealed. Wristcutters is The Wizard of Oz of suicide in that in the end he realizes he had all along what he needed to make it.