Director Neil LaBute, known for such films as "Nurse Betty" and "In the Company of Men" takes on transforming college realtionships in The Shape of Things, which he also wrote. While I was expecting the usual shallow romantic comedy, this wasn't at all what this was. This film is different, in a good way, and does manage to break some ground in an otherwise crowded segment of film. It stars Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz and Fred Weller.
Adam, played by Rudd, while working at an art gallery and experiences "love at first sight" of Evelyn (Weisz). He is the nerdy college student with taped up glasses, out of date and poorly fitting clothes, and in need of a haircut. She is the avant garde art graduate student who is so mature, and and seemingly provides what he needs. Step by step she works on making him over, as she simultaneously alienates him from his friends along the way. While he does appear much improved by the end of the film, when Evelyn presents her master's thesis, it's more than a revelation to all concerned. Her final quote is "Moralists have no place in an art gallery."
The Shape of Things is one dark film. While Adam mistakes lust for love, he is easily manipulated into doing just about anything. If you want a basic romantic comedy, this isn't it, but if you want a look at the dark side of modern relationships, then it's worth a look. If for nothing else, it did keep me wondering where all of this was going to the very end, and that's not common at all these days.
Overall Grade: B+