Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Rating: 6 Blues
Morris Bliss is a 30-something dreamer with no job, who still lives with his father out there in New York, and finds his life falling apart (or together) in comical ways when he gets involved with an 18 year old schoolgirl.
I never watched Six Feet Under, but of course I adore Dexter, so when I saw that Michael C. Hall, star of both shows, was the lead in this movie, I figured I’d give it a shot. And while it does show off the diversity of Hall’s acting talent, I am still forced to ask the question – why? We don’t actually need to see Hall as a 30-something loser, awkwardly charming in his efforts to pat his life together and skate by doing as little as possible. Morris still lives with his father, has no job and no real interest in obtaining one, dreams of traveling the world like his deceased mother, and oh yeah, is sleeping with the high-school-age daughter of an old high school friend. Who of course just has to turn up during the course of the movie, and, wanting to relive high school glory days, convinces Morris to go on some ill-advised highjinks that turns out badly. Then there’s Morris’ neighbor, Lucy Liu no less, who invites him to some taste testing marketing thing, and then uses Morris to rekindle her romance with a pink muscle shirt-wearing psycho who happens to live in Morris’ building. Morris’ friend A.J., going through different outfits and styles as he tries to force a fit, living in fanciful tales that Morris just goes along with for the sake of everyone involved, who somehow in this mess manages to actually find a job with some kind of Mafia noones’ ever heard of, and the daughter of the building manager to boot. Each of these things tossed together is like not enough ingredients to make a good stew, its still bland and pointless. If any of the stories had been expanded on to make more funny or even poignant, it could only help. As it stands, we simply see Morris trundle along, watching the trials and tribulations of his friends and family, til he finally gets up the nerve and gumption to find a (free) way to get to Greece, like he always wanted. And that’s it.
It’s a perfect movie for the film festival circuit, I can say that. I heard director Michael Knowles saying after at the Q&A that he was trying to show Morris towards the end finally learning to live his life, and while that’s fine, what I saw was the somewhat tedious journey to get there, not the actual living part. That might have been preferable. The Trouble with Bliss gets a disappointed rating of 6 Blues.