John Krasinski, best known for playing Jim on The Office, faced an uphill battle even before sitting down in the directorâ€™s chair to move Brief Interviews with Hideous Men from book to screen.
A collection of 23 short stories by the late David Foster Wallace, Hideous Men was praised by literary critics, among other things, for its rawness. The stories are presented as transcripts by a jilted female graduate student who interviews a series of men trying to explain why they treat women so cruelly.
Krasinkski does a commendable job, but the leap to screen is just too difficult to pull off. The casting is inspired with Law & Order: Criminal Intentâ€™s Julianne Nicholson playing the recently dumped grad student behind the interviews and Timothy Hutton as her adviser. Among those filling in as her increasingly cruel subject are Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Bobby Cannavale (Will & Grace), Will Forte (Saturday Night Live), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) and Krasinski as the boyfriend who abruptly leaves her.
At times darkly humorous, Krasinskiâ€™s Hideous Men is a solid attempt to capture the bile and wicked laughs that Wallace created, but ultimately this may be a case of a great story that is simply unfilmable.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men/1 DVD/2010/MPI Home Video /80 mins.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (DVD)