Woody Allen movies never totally suck, but they’re either really great or just ok. Irrational Man is the latter. Joaquin Phoenix is Abe, an angsty, drunkard philosophy professor who’s lost his zest for life. He takes a teaching position at a college in Rhode Island. All the fly women are making a fuss (even though he’s gross) but he can’t get it up. With a plot twist that I didn’t see coming, he gets his groove back– until things start to unravel.
Irrational Man makes an interesting comment on freedom: act or leave things to chance. There are a few bright moments here– the Russian roulette party scene, for example, had me on the edge of my seat for a second. It’s also nice to see Parker Posey and Emma Stone in action even if I’ve seen them do better. The problem here is, the execution is bland; the story plods along without ever taking off. Even the final scene plays out in a blasé manner. Intentionally existentialist or not, Irrational Man is a yawn.
(Gene Siskel Film Center) C-