Shrink review (DVD) ?

Shrink is a shapeless ensemble drama – tired, plastic and dull, a poor man's Crash set in LA portraying the trials and tribulations of a group of disparate and unhappy individuals, most of whom come into contact with Kevin Spacey, here playing a dissolute, drug-addled psychiatrist who's hasn't got over the suicide of his wife.

His patients include Dallas Roberts as an aggressive obsessive-compulsive uber-agent who never allows himself to touch anyone, Saffron Burrows as an ageing movie star whose marriage is on the rocks and Robin Williams as an alcoholic actor who believes that he's a sex addict. But the therapist is most affected by schoolgirl Keke Palmer, whose mother has killed herself. She has shut herself off from the trauma by harming herself and paying regular visits to the cinema.

Meanwhile Spacey's godson (Webber), a wannabe screenwriter who makes his living as a car valet and by mowing lawns, starts a relationship with Roberts' pregnant assistant Pell James, a surrogate mother. He gets inspiration for his new work from Palmer's plight and she is not best pleased to discover this. Jack Huston plays another sad individual, a popular star who desperately needs to dry out.

One can't fault the cast, they're all very good, but they fail to lift the inert melodramatics. You simply don't care about their repective problems and just wish they'd sort themselves out. The script is moribund and the direction leaden. It's a soporific affair that never draws you in – a less than potent expose of the underbelly of La La Land and an unappealing character piece that goes nowhere.


Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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