Answers to Nothing

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Can we please call a moratorium on these everything-is-connected multinarrative stories about angstful Angelenos? If Short Cuts and Magnolia represent the subgenre's heights, then this cringeworthy indie establishes its rock bottom; as the trials and travails of an unfaithful psychiatrist (Cook), his maternally desperate wife (Mitchell), a cop (Benz) looking for a missing girl and various other crudely drawn archetypes start to interweave, the cumulative effect is less enlightening than enraging. Not one single character strikes you as being anything but a mouthpiece for writer-director Matthew Leutwyler's simplistic views on socio-emotional problems (racial self-hatred! post-rehab guilt!) or an excuse for self-satisfied, back-patting acting exercises. The title is an understatement.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

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