Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself

When he's not in group therapy, Wilbur (Sives) is plotting the next in a series of suicide attempts. His brother Harbour (Rawlins) tries to keep him safe, but he has a lot on his plate worrying about the dilapidated Glasgow bookshop inherited from their deceased father. A regular customer is Alice (Henderson), who makes a few pennies selling books left by patients at the hospital where she works to support her 11-year-old daughter. Such is this romantic comedy from the director of Italian for Beginners. Romance because Harbour marries Alice even though he knows she has a thing for Wilbur, and comedy because all concerned share a bitter wit that helps them get through it all. That's the idea, but it doesn't play. It's a Danish-Scottish co-production, scripted by Scherfig in an English that never quite rings true, and blending Glasgow exteriors with Danish studio work in a way that leaves the film without a genuine sense of place. The performers give everything asked of them, but the downplayed emotions and enveloping brackish colour scheme make this the celluloid equivalent of a fish tank where the water is in serious need of changing.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lone Scherfig
Screenwriter: Lone Scherfig, Anders Thomas Jensen
Cast: Jamie Sives
Adrian Rawlins
Shirley Henderson
Lisa McKinlay
Mads Mikkelsen
Julia Davis
Susan Vidler
Robert McIntosh
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