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Human Nature (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]

Tim Robbins , Patricia Arquette , Michel Gondry    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 108.05
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This fascinating comedy questions what we mean when we use words like "nature" and "civilization." Lila (Patricia Arquette, Lost Highway, True Romance), a nature writer who grows hair all over her body, falls in love with Nathan (Tim Robbins, The Player, The Hudsucker Proxy), a scientist attempting to teach table manners to mice. While hiking in the woods, they discover Puff (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill), a man raised in the wild since childhood, whom Nathan seizes as a test subject for his experiments--and soon these three, along with Nathan's French lab assistant (Miranda Otto) are embroiled in criss-crossed love affairs as they (and the audience) attempt to figure out what it means to be true to one's own nature. Though Human Nature isn't as surefooted as Being John Malkovich (which was also written by distinctive screenwriter Charlie Kaufman), it has moments of startling comic genius. --Bret Fetzer

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's only human nature Feb. 8 2005
Men raised as apes. Mannered mice. Women with bad body hair days. Don't expect anything halfway normal in the ironically-titled "Human Nature," the first collaboration between the brilliant Michel Gondry and even more brilliant Charlie Kaufman. Forget style above substance -- this is a thinking man's comedy, quirky and utterly hilarious.

It opens with a dead man, a convicted woman, and a genteel simian-man all speaking of their pasts: Lila (Patricia Arquette) became horribly hirsute when she was a teen -- by twenty, she was "Queen Kong" in a sideshow. Miserable, she retreated to the woods and became a reknowned nature writer. During electrolysis treatment some years later, a nurse offers to set her up with a desperate guy: Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins), a manners-obsessed scientist who is teaching them to white mice.

One day in the woods, Lila and Nathan come across a feral young man they call Puff (Rhys Ifans) -- as explained early on, Puff's father thought he was an ape, and raised his son accordingly. Now Puff is being taught the ways of humanity, as Lila tries to preserve the more primitive things about human beings -- and a warped love triangle results.

Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman recently collaborated on the wonderful, poignant "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," so it's not surprising that their first joint film was also excellent. It's the sort of film that can't be easily pegged as one thing or another -- part comedy, part satire, part blinking question mark. Is it human nature to be naked and free, to be civilized and uptight, or does it lie somewhere in the middle? Are we just animals in clothes, or do humans have something more... or less? "Human Nature" doesn't answer all these questions, but it does make you think about them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting from beginning to end May 30 2004
By D. Fair
Everyone should see this film. It's human/social commentary. Kaufmann has such a wonderful, deep, intelligent sense of humor. Very entertaining. Interesting from beginning to end. And I'm always amazed at how perfect the casting is for Kaufman's movies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Human is as Human Does April 12 2004
This is, as usual, an amazing script by Kaufman. I wouldn't rank it as high as Eternal Sunshine...but I would rank it above Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
If you want to see a film that operates as a piece of art, this film is for you. Kaufman's quirky characters are wonderful & wonderfully played by this great cast.
If you don't want to think while watching a film, I recommend running away & watching some silly action film or teen comedy.
And be prepared for hairy naked women!
Great Film!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Kaufmanesque Classic March 21 2004
A unique film in every sense of the word. If you enjoy Kaufman's other films, you should definitely check this out. It may not be as funny as Being John Malkovich or as clever as Adaptation, but it is by far, one of the strangest films I have ever seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange but fantastic Feb. 10 2004
This was a completely unheard of movie from what I know, though it starred Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette and Rhys Ifans (of "Notting Hill" and "The Replacements").
It's a strange story of "human nature" with some hilarious bits, some extremely strange situations, and bases ALL human nature on man's urge to fornicate. (which is probably somewhat true, why do we write books, invent things, have jobs, etc?).
The main characters are Lila, Nathan and Puff. All of whom have their little intricacies. Lila (played by Arquette) is a former circus freak/nature writer, who's got a hormone problem that makes her hairy all over her body. Nathan (Robbins) is a scientist with an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with regards to manners. Puff (Ifans) is a man raised by apes, or more specifically, andother man who THOUGHT he was an ape.
The story then works to become a love triangle, or rectangle as it may be, as well as a quirky tale of Nature versus Nurture. It's a VERY Spike Jonez feeling production and has quirkiness similar to that of Being John Malkovich, but it's a little BETTER in that it's more receptive to a larger audience.
There are some genuninely funny scenes and lines, but if you'd like to hear them or know them, you'll have to check out the movie. If you liked Being John Malkovich, you should like this movie as it's got a comparable level of quirkiness to it yet remains comically sensible. I haven't shown this movie to someone I've met who hasn't liked it, though I've noticed some terrible reviews for it. If you're not sure, check it out. It looks like you'll either love it or hate it. At least it provokes some feeling either way.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Complete garbage... Feb. 6 2004
This movie is unbelievably awful. Avoid at all costs.
Even Herzog's similarly-themed Kasper Houser is better than this, and that's not saying much. At all.
And to make matters worse, why in the heck did they have to pretend it took place in New York, when it was clearly downtown L.A. (aka, the 9th Cricle of Hell... on Earth).
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Boring! Boring! Boring! So boring I almost feel asleep at 6:30pm. Instead of this snoozer, I highly recommend ICEMAN (1984). Only surprise in this film is dwarf actor Peter Dinklage. If they ever wanted to make a parody of Gilligan's Island, they could use Rhys Ifans as the new Gilligan. Well, maybe not.
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