I'm watching this movie for the fourth time now. I'm kind of ambivalent about it now. I loved it the first time but it can be kind of self-indulgent. Like Being John Malkovich it can be kind of oppressively greasy feeling and like Magnolia, but more so, it can sometimes seem to wander and ramble a bit.
There are moments of grace in the film, particularly toward the end but the more I watch it it can seem that much of the movie seems to possess the same failing as the protagonist: self-indulgently pessimistic. It reminds me of what Erich Fromm talked about as "necrophilia," which is not sex with corpses but rather a preoccupation with death and decay. It is contrasted with his concept "biophilia," the love of life or living systems.
Unfortunately the moments of grace, wonder, and/or insight are often overwhelmed by greasy clunk.
Dianne Wiest is great. So are Samantha Morton and the little girl.
Jennifer Jason Leigh is kind of irritating though.
I don't get the whole things about Ellen and Eric.
Initially I took this as a call to vigilance but in a way I think it's more of an elegy about not being able to seize life.
Where is my little girl?
It has its moments but I think I identified with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation more.
His movies can be so exhilarating but often want focus.
Like Mother Angelica said this morning: "Enjoy the sunshine. Don't pay attention to the people who are always looking for the rain."