Broken Flowers is a story about Don Johnston (Bill Murray) a Don Juan has-been who goes on a trip visiting past girlfriends in order to collect clues and solve the mystery of his alleged son. After his current lover leaves him, Don recieves a letter notifying him of his 19 year old son. With no signature and return address, Don seeks the help of his friend and neighbor Winston (Jeffrey Wright) a freelance P.I. At each visit Don finds himself in uncomfortable situations -and I would to visiting my past girlfriends- and although he would like to call the whole thing off, Winston continues to motivate Don’s investigation. He looks for clues around each house, piecing together the possible sender of the letter and Mother of his son. As the film progresses you can see how the attitude of this over the hill bachelor changes, and his regrets of not having a family begin to show.
There were a number of funny moments in the film, for example, when Don visits Laura (Sharon Stone) he is greated by her young and attractive daughter Lolita. Sitting in the living room waiting for Laura to come home, Lolita comes out to get her phone completely nude -you have to love beaver shots in movies- creating the uncomfortable moment for this visit. Throughout the visit with Laura, Lolita continues to show up in her bra and panties completly distracting Don from what he is trying to accomplish.
[Find out what you should do after the jump.]
A comforting aspect is that at each visit there is a familiar face. Christopher McDonald (Shooter) plays Ron, the husband of another X, Jessica Lange and Chlo√É¬´ Sevigny are totaly lesbians in their scene. Finally Chris Bauer from the Wire, makes Don very uncomfortable durring his last visit.
The movie starts off slow and there is to many scenes with Don looking out windows or at womens legs. The dialogue was lacking, especially between Don and Winston. I just didn’t feel there was good chemisty between Murray and Wright. I felt that Jarmusch was trying to recreate a Lost in Translation feel and ended up placing to much down time in the movie. It’s evident that Don still has the spirit of a ladies man in him, but he’s just to old and tired to try any longer. Jarmusch filmed to many scenes focusing in on that instead of giving the audience what they truly want to see – which is Murray in these uncomfortable situations.
You feel uncomfortable with Don during his visits -or maybe that was just because I saw it in an old indie theater with small seats and I had to keep shifting my position- and thinking “I would never do something like that, I don’t ever want to have to track down my X’s”.
All in all it was enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to see this in in the theater, you would be better off renting it on DVD so you could watch it in you favorite comfy chair.
Bill Murray does continue to show his acting chops and setting himself apart from his fellow SNL alumnists.
What should you do: Wait for the DVD.