At a certain point in The Nines, it is strongly suggested that Ryan Reynolds’s character is God. Not “playing God” or having a complex. Being God. How you receive this revelation will depend on several things, especially if you still think of Reynolds as the hero of Van Wilder. But Reynoldsism, if we can christen the new faith, actually makes a lot of sense. How else does a vague, fratty comedian like RR continue to get work if he’s not some kind of deity? He’s got to be blessed somehow. Moreover, like any good Reynoldsist, I quickly fell into a state of dulled acceptance, prickled only by mild concerns: How do ridiculous films like The Nines (the latest bit of quasimystical nonsense in the Magnolia mold) constitute serious Sundance fare? Do people in Hollywood really give a shit about virtual reality? When I awoke, I found I was saved.
The last person one would expect to be a Reynoldsist is writer-director John August, whose pen is responsible not only for the L.A. rave movie Go, but both Charlie’s Angels. Now making his debut behind the camera, August should have saved some of that sexy verve for his own movie. Instead, he burrows into his three interlocking stories—one about a depressed TV actor, another about a backstabbing writer, a third about a video-game programmer (all embodied by Reynolds with little distinction)—as if the whole we’re-all-connected thing wasn’t played out. Mysteriously, the usually dependable Hope Davis finds herself swirled into the new religion too. Let’s pray she’s since gone heretical.
Cast and crew