Movieline's Hollywood Life - 04/01/2002
"...A cheeky, sometimes creepy comedy about nature versus civilization....HUMAN NATURE is consistently provocative..."
New York Times - 04/12/2002
"...[The film has] some fine physical comedy from the irrepressible Mr. Ifans..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/13/2002
"...Entertaining....NATURE has the manic cleverness we expect from Kaufman..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2003
"...There are some wonderfully surreal moments..."
When Lila Jute (Patricia Arquette), a nature writer with excessive body hair, meets Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins), an obsessive/compulsive scientist attempting to teach mice table manners, the two begin an unlikely romance. On a hiking trip, the new couple encounters a feral young man (Rhys Ifans) living in the woods and decides to bring him back to the city. Named Puff by Nathan's sexy French assistant, Gabrielle (Miranda Otto), the untamed lad slowly learns about language, culture, and civilization under Nathan's skewed guidance. Meanwhile, Nathan begins to fall for Gabrielle, and the libidos of all parties involved begin to rage, leading to drastic measures.
One of the most unusual screenwriters to emerge in decades, Charlie Kaufman follows up his acclaimed BEING JOHN MALKOVICH script with another amazingly inventive and oddly humorous screenplay. And as with MALKOVICH, Kaufman's writing is equally matched by excellent direction, this time courtesy of Michel Gondry (like Spike Jonze, who is also a producer on this film, the first-time feature director is well known for his visually stunning collaborations with Icelandic singer Björk--most notably her groundbreaking "Human Behavior" video). The resulting movie bears a charming storybook atmosphere that is enhanced by the appropriately quirky performances of Robbins, Arquette, Ifans, and Otto. Playfully taking on preconceived notions of "wilderness" and "civilization," HUMAN NATURE presents poignant social satire in the clever guise of an exceptionally entertaining film.
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