Wristcutters: A Love Story 

I was just saying how there aren't nearly enough offbeat romantic comedies that begin with a suicide, and, lo and behold, what do I find in the new release bin but this indie gem?

Zia (Patrick Fugit, Almost Famous) is a 20-something who up and decides to clean his room then slit his wrists. Unfortunately, he finds out suicides don't actually go to heaven or hell, but rather into a limbo that's just like real life, only a little worse. Coincidentally, purgatory looks an awful lot like Southeastern Idaho, full of deserted highways and tumbleweeds. When he finds out the love of his life has also offed herself, Zia enlists new Russian pal Eugene (Shea Whigham, Lords of Dogtown), whose entire family killed themselves, and sets off after her. Along the way, they meet up with wrongly-sent Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight's Tale) who just wants to find "the people in charge" and get back home.

It's a different sort of way to look at death and love, but the cute and interesting script and more than a few very funny lines carry the film to a perfectly comfortable ending. The three stars play strange and interesting emotionless characters, and there are a handful of unexpected cameos.

My recommendation: If you want to pleasantly surprise a companion on a first or second date, plug this title into the DVD player and enjoy a film that's off the beaten path but doesn't fall victim to the indie curse of poor film quality and shoddy acting.

This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.

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