This little film will obviously remind you of a Charlie Kaufman film (specifically Adaptation). It’s a likable little meta-film for those who just can’t get enough of this sort of thing. The writer (and first time Director) had a brief career as a television writer and producer, before going on to pen several Hollywood film scripts. But it’s the television experience that he wants to share.
The Nines is structured in three parts. Think of it like this: There’s this huge picture puzzle that is all layed out and then taken apart (deconstructed, no?) and all the little bits, the pieces are randomly put into three piles. Each of these piles are put together to make their own puzzle. Each smaller puzzle reflects in odd ways back to the original large puzzle. But the pieces fit together in odd ways. Confusing? Well, yeah. And confused is something I generally don’t cotton to in a movie. There are those who do, I know. This one though doesn’t bang you over the head. Each mini puzzle is likable in its own way. And seems familiar.
In Part One (The Prisoner) a tv actor (Ryan Reynolds) has a meltdown (he burns down his house and totals his car) and is put under house arrest. Hope Davis plays the woman next door and Melissa McCarthy plays a publicity agent who is tasked to keep him under wraps.
Part Two (Reality Television) has Reynolds as a Reality TV subject, like a Project Greenlight, he’s making a TV Pilot (named Knowing) and has cast Melissa McCarthy as the lead. Hope Davis is a TV exec.
Part Three (Knowing) is the TV pilot which has NOT been green lighted. Here Reynolds plays God (or the Creator/Writer – same thing) and Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy both have reincarnated roles in this part.
No synopsis can do the film justice. And yes, all three actors plays three different (but essentially the same) roles and relationships in all three parts. It’s kinda fun. Nice dynamics. Where it could be ponderous it is not. And I think the reason for this is that all three actors, set just the right tone in their multi-layered roles.
Even if this is not your usual cup of tea, you might like it. For those of you who are really into this kind of thing, there are a million and one little things to look for to tie together the intertwining strands. These three strands, by the way, are represented not only by the three sections of the film and the three main actors playing three roles, but by the three hemp strands twined together at the beginning of the film and wrapped around Reynolds’ wrist. Hey, you know what the square root of nine is, right?At the end of course, the little twine bracelet is snapped off, and things dissolve. Fin.