The Shape of Things [DVD] [2003]

Neil LaBute's adaptation of his stage play The Shape of Things comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1, while a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Surround. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by LaBute and lead actor Paul Rudd. The two have an easy camaraderie that is engaging and are obviously proud of the work they did on the film, so much so that they occasionally lash out at specific reviewers and what they wrote about the movie. A short featurette in which LaBute discusses how the project moved from the stage to the screen has been included, as has a short, but funny, promotional film entitled "Welcome to Mercy College." The theatrical trailer rounds out this strong release from Universal.
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Feature commentary with director Neil LaBute and Paul Rudd
  • "The Shape of Things from stage to screen" featurette
  • "Welcome to Mercy College" promotional film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The Shape of Things
After a detour into lighter and more compassionate fare with Nurse Betty and Possession, Neil LaBute returns to the themes of his earlier films with this dark and corrosive look at male-female relationships. Adam (Paul Rudd) is a chubby, bespectacled nebbish of a college student who makes money in his spare time as a security guard at the university's art museum. One evening at work, Adam spies another student preparing to deface a statue -- Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), a beautiful art major who is offended by a fig leaf that's been used to "censor" a statue of a nude male, and is prepared to replace the disguised member with spray paint. Adam can't quite bring himself to kick Evelyn out of the museum, and she responds by giving him her phone number. Adam and Evelyn begin dating, and as she challenges his ideas about art and morality, she begins remaking Adam into the sort of boyfriend she'd prefer. Under her influence, Adam loses weight, gets contact lenses, changes his hairstyle, starts dressing better, and assumes a cooler and more confident personality. Adam's pal Philip (Frederick Weller) notices the changes in his friend and isn't happy with the way Evelyn has been molding Adam to her specifications. Adam and Evelyn have dinner one night with Philip and his fiancée, Jenny (Gretchen Mol), and before long Philip and Evelyn are at each other's throats as Adam and Jenny cower along the sidelines. The tensions between Philip and Evelyn exacerbate uneasiness between Jenny and her husband to be, while at the same time, Jenny and Adam begin to recognize a mutual attraction that's long lurked beneath the surface. The Shape of Things was adapted by LaBute from his stage drama of the same name; a selection of songs by Elvis Costello comprise the soundtrack. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Gretchen Mol
    Gretchen Mol - Jenny
  • Paul Rudd
    Paul Rudd - Adam
  • Rachel Weisz
    Rachel Weisz - Evelyn
  • Frederick Weller
    Frederick Weller - Philip

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