Before working together on Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and music video veteran Michel Gondry created this light-hearted comedy. Told through the confessions of its three protagonists, the film concerns a very unusual love triangle between three people who represent a gamut of innate primitivism. Lila (Patricia Arquette) has a hormonal imbalance which leaves her body festooned with hair. After stints as a sideshow act, she changes her life by moving to the great outdoors, living at one with nature until she yearns for the touch of a man. Through a friend she meets Nathan (Tim Robbins), an anal-retentive psychologist whose latest project sees him transferring the disciplinarian manner of his mother to the behaviour of mice. The two have a volatile relationship, pushed to the brink when Lila falls for Rhys Ifan’s libidinous simian Puff, whom Nathan takes under his wing for etiquette training.
Kaufman’s script isn’t in the same league as his best known work, its characters a little underdeveloped for such a farfetched story. Some scenes are almost identical to those in Gondry’s music videos, and this overreliance on the immediacy of music video language is hardly surprising regarding his artistic track record. Nonetheless, it’s a sufficiently entertaining feature with some genuine sweetness. Puff is the only true innocent, the other characters embroiled in the mechanics of infidelity, and his triumphant march at the end of the film rounds off the slightly convoluted story with an invigorating sense of completion and justice.