Wirey Spindell

2000, Movie, NR, 101 mins


The fourth feature film by writer/director Eric Schaeffer (following MY LIFE'S IN TURNAROUND, IF LUCY FELL and FALL), this sour coming of age story is a testament to his self-centeredness and dogged perseverance. Surely anyone else would have realized by now that he was running out of autobiographical material (interesting material, anyway), and taken off some time to do something other than bore people with tales of his juvenile sexual (mis)adventures. Wirey (Schaeffer) is in his mid-30s and living with pretty, funny, almost supernaturally tolerant Tabitha (Callie Thorne). They're getting married in nine days and Wirey has major cold feet, so he shuts himself in the bathroom and reminisces about his coming of age in the '70s and early '80s, including his formative sexual experiences, years of drug and alcohol addiction, trouble making friends and bitterly unwavering conviction that his hippie parents didn't raise him right. The film is based on Schaeffer's unpublished novel, A Legend in His Own Mind, by Wirey Spindell, and it's not hard to see why it was rejected by multiple publishers. Spidell is self-centered, neurotic and obnoxious without ever being clever or interesting; his insistence that girls and later, women, couldn't get enough of him from childhood on is exceptionally unconvincing, particularly after he shares the unpleasant particulars of his sexual dysfunctions and the sight of his soft, hairy underbelly (Eric Mabius, who plays Wirey as a college student, is at least attractive). Scheaffer appears to have carefully studied the films of Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino, and learned all the wrong things from both. Schaeffer's perception of his neuroses isn't witty or enlightening, and his "hip" babble is just obnoxious -- who cares that he thinks about tampon strings in nudist colonies? leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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