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"THE SHAPE OF THINGS"
(2003) (Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy *None Extreme None *None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy *None None Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A student's engaged friends worry about the various changes he undergoes when he starts dating an avant-garde artist.
PLOT:
Adam (PAUL RUDD) is a nerdy college student who meets and is instantly smitten with Evelyn (RACHEL WEISZ), an art student who's about to deface a statue in the art museum where he works. It's not long before the two start going out, much to the chagrin of Adam's former roommate, Phillip (FREDERICK WELLER), and his fiancée, Jenny (GRETCHEN MOL).

They're not happy with the way he's starting to change - in both appearance and demeanor - and blame her for what everyone else would probably deem a positive transformation. That eventually puts a strain on the friendship, although Adam and Jenny obviously have unresolved but never acted upon feelings for one another.

As the four try to deal with their reactions to that and each other, they're unaware of the unexpected ramifications that await them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of writer/director Neil LaBute, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
To avoid giving away any late surprises or developments, only the initial characteristics are noted here.
  • PAUL RUDD plays a college student who changes both his look and appearance after starting to date Evelyn. He uses some strong profanity and eventually cheats on her with Jenny (although we don't know to what extent beyond making out) after having sex with her.
  • RACHEL WEISZ plays an art student who starts going out with Adam and convinces or manipulates him to change his looks and behavior. She uses strong profanity, has sex with him and smokes a joint.
  • FREDERICK WELLER plays Adam's former roommate and current friend, a guy who uses strong profanity and is mean and spiteful toward Adam and Evelyn.
  • GRETCHEN MOL plays Philip's fiancée who cheats on him with Adam (although we don't know to what extent beyond making out).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 18 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is present, as is some sexual behavior (unseen but videotaped intercourse, just off-camera oral sex, and implied intercourse) as well as various instances of people making out in public and private (including a woman licking a man's tattoo that's near his visible pubic hair).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while one character briefly smokes a joint and some drinking occurs. Some imitative behavior is present, while some characters briefly push and/or struggle with each other.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Phil and Jenny have wine, while Evelyn appears to have a beer. In addition, Phil might be a bit drunk (explaining his belligerence, but that could just be the way he is).
  • Evelyn smokes a joint while in bed with Adam.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Although we don't see the performance art exhibit, Adam is disgusted by having seen some artist paint with her menstrual blood (he and Evelyn argue about that).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Although we don't see her actually do it, Evelyn apparently defaces a classic statue by painting a penis onto it (in defiance of its crotch having been artificially covered up by a fig leaf of sorts put there by the museum).
  • Phillip repeatedly has a condescending attitude toward Adam (making fun of him and the way he is), and a mean and confrontational one toward Evelyn.
  • Adam and Jenny end up cheating on their significant others by making out and possibly having sex with each other.
  • Evelyn admits to reading Adam's private journal.
  • Evelyn begins to manipulate Adam, even going so far as telling him that he must choose between her and Phil & Jenny (that he can't see them anymore).
  • Evelyn hurts Adam (emotionally) in a severe fashion, and does so in front of others.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None, but we see a poster with a drawing of a gun on it.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking burns me up," "Un-f*cking believable," "Shut the f*ck up," "F*ck you," "This is f*cked," "F*cked up," "(That's) Bullsh*t," "Sh*tty," "You're suck a pr*ck," "You heartless c*nt," "Pisses them off," "Nuts" (crazy), "Balls" (testicles), "Who the hell do you think you are?" "Where the hell did you meet that bitch?" "Up your ass," "You dope," "Shut up," "Freaky" and "Screw you."
  • Although we don't see her actually do it, Evelyn apparently defaces a classic statue by painting a penis onto it (in defiance of its crotch having been artificially covered up by a fig leaf of sorts put there by the museum).
  • Evelyn wears a midriff-revealing top (as does Jenny later).
  • Adam gets a tattoo of Evelyn's initials near his groin, while she appears to have some sort of tattoo on her hand.
  • Evelyn gives "the finger" to the camera.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 18 "f" words (1 used sexually as is the term "screw"), 9 "s" words, 9 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "pr*ck" and "thing"), 1 using female genitals ("c*nt"), 4 asses, 4 hells, 1 crap, 9 uses of "God," 4 of "Oh God," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Although we don't see her actually do it, Evelyn apparently defaces a classic statue by painting a penis onto it (in defiance of its crotch having been artificially covered up by a fig leaf of sorts put there by the museum since people complained that it was too life-like). We do see the statue and said plaster fig leaf, and she takes various close-up Polaroid photos of it (and we briefly see the statue's original stone scrotum).
  • Adam tells Evelyn that he'd be open to showering or getting dressed in front of her and vice-versa. They then briefly passionately kiss and there's a comment about running off to a bathroom stall to have sex (that doesn't occur). He later comments on her having a "great ass" and there's some additional brief, passionate kissing.
  • Phil gestures to Jenny's breasts when he says, "this could have been yours" to Adam about him not asking her out in the past.
  • Phil and Jenny get into an argument with Evelyn over the above statue incident, with Jenny saying it was pornography (Phil says that Jenny whispered the word "penis" since it's not said in her house, and then goes on to sing the word several times). Evelyn says it wasn't porn since it wasn't designed to excite and then questions whether the penis excited them, and then asks about "any old penis" (while grabbing Adam's clothed crotch). She then asks if the painted-on penis did anything for Jenny - "Did it make you hot?" -but she doesn't answer and looks embarrassed. Phil then says that one can write one's manifesto on their "thing" but their "thing" can't be one.
  • Later, Phil asks where Adam met Evelyn and wonders if she gave him a "haircut and a blow-job."
  • We see Adam and Evelyn in bed (from a distance and both are under the sheets, wearing tops). We then see that she's taking flash Polaroid shots of his crotch (nothing explicit is seen and we later only see blurred images on those shots) and it's implied that they've had sex. Adam then states that few people would sleep with him, that she's only the third person he's had sex with, and that the others were in high school. She then states that she could kind of tell that. She also shows some cleavage and we later see him put on his underwear under the covers (nothing explicit). They then make out with her sitting on the floor and him lying face first on the bed in his briefs.
  • We then see that they videotaped themselves having sex and he doesn't want to watch it back. She states it's something they should watch, as should their friends. She then wants him to smile for the camera and thus moves down to his crotch and performs oral sex on him (we see this through the viewfinder and she's just barely out of the shot, but we see his pleasured reaction and smiling).
  • Adam and Jenny end up making out in a park (with both saying they wanted to do that for a long time), they do so again later by the beach, and it's somewhat implied that they did more than that (although we never know for sure and they won't admit to it).
  • While in a waiting room, Adam jokes about a conjugal visit and then going to check out the men's room (for sex with Evelyn) and she dares him to do that. That doesn't happen, but he does show her that he had her initials (EAT) tattooed near his groin. She jokes that he couldn't afford the letter M and we then see the tattoo as well as a shot of his pubic hair as he briefly pulls down his pants and underwear. She then kneels down and licks that tattoo.
  • Evelyn states she kissed Phil and then jokes about the "blow job" she gave him.
  • Evelyn comments that Adam is a step away from "f*cking around" on her.
  • A couple makes out in a coffee shop.
  • Evelyn shows more cleavage.
  • After Adam says "Screw you" in anger to Evelyn, she says that he did "screw" her and that he can pull up a chair and watch (meaning the videotape she made of them having sex, but we don't see any playback of it). A comment is then made about "wanting to make love" and "get off on it."
  • SMOKING
  • None, but some artwork shows a person holding a pipe.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Relationships and how some people try to get their partners to change to meet their needs and/or wants.
  • What constitutes art.
  • Plastic surgery.
  • Evelyn shows horizontal cut scars across her wrists that she claims were a means of getting attention when she was a teen (and weren't from a suicide attempt).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Mad at Phil for the way he's treated her and Adam, Evelyn rushes up and pushes him quite hard from behind. She then throws some small, toy basketball at him before leaving.
  • Phil hits Adam on the head, prompting Adam to push him backwards. The two then end up struggling on the ground until Adam races off on his bike.



  • Reviewed April 14, 2003 / Posted May 9, 2003

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