5.6/10
3,243
28 user 35 critic

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 19 January 2009 (USA)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
A graduate student (Nicholson) copes with a recent breakup by conducting interviews with various men.

Director:

John Krasinski

Writers:

John Krasinski (screenplay), David Foster Wallace (story collection)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Promised Land (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski
The Hollars (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man returns to his small hometown after learning that his mother has fallen ill and is about to undergo surgery.

Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Charlie Day, Richard Jenkins
The Comedy (2012)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Indifferent to the notion of inheriting his father's estate, a restless, aging New Yorker passes time with his friends in games of mock sincerity and irreverence.

Director: Rick Alverson
Stars: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy
Leatherheads (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1925, an enterprising pro football player convinces America's too-good-to-be-true college football hero to play for his team and keep the league from going under.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: George Clooney, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'

Director: James Ponsoldt
Stars: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A burgeoning stand-up comedian struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.

Directors: Mike Birbiglia, Seth Barrish
Stars: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn
Wrong I (2012)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dolph Springer wakes up one morning to realize he has lost the love of his life, his dog, Paul. During his quest to get Paul (and his life) back, Dolph radically changes the lives of others -- risking his sanity all the while.

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Stars: Jack Plotnick, Todd Giebenhain, Eric Judor
Smiley Face (2007)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After a young actress unknowingly eats her roommate's marijuana cupcakes, her day becomes a series of misadventures.

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: Anna Faris, John Krasinski, Adam Brody
Mascots (2016)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A look into the world of competitive mascots.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Zach Woods, Wayne Wilderson, Sarah Baker
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team - testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy.

Director: John Crowley
Stars: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent
Ruby Sparks (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A novelist struggling with writer's block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Stars: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Bening
Sci-Fi

A woman living in an abandoned colony on Mars makes a startling discovery.

Director: John Krasinski
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Nicholson ... Sara Quinn
Ben Shenkman ... Subject #14
Timothy Hutton ... Professor Adams / Subject #30
Michael Cerveris ... Subject #15
Corey Stoll ... Subject #51
Chris Messina ... Subject #19
Max Minghella ... Kevin / Subject #28
Lou Taylor Pucci ... Evan / Subject #28
Will Arnett ... Subject #11
John Krasinski ... Ryan / Subject #20
Will Forte ... Subject #72
Joey Slotnick ... Tad / Subject #59
Clarke Peters ... Subject #31
Dominic Cooper ... Daniel / Subject #46
Benjamin Gibbard ... Harry / Subject #20 (as Ben Gibbard)
Edit

Storyline

A graduate student (Nicholson) copes with a recent breakup by conducting interviews with various men.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't say you weren't warned... listen in.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breves Diálogos com Homens Horríveis See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,510, 27 September 2009

Gross USA:

$33,745

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,745
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During a scene in Professor Adams' office you can see a copy of the David Foster Wallace's most famous work, 'Infinite Jest', sitting on the top of a pile of books in the background See more »

Quotes

Ryan: I'm aware of how all this sounds and can well imagine the judgments you're forming, but if I'm really to explain this to you then I have no choice but to be... candid.
[sighs]
Ryan: Yes, it was a pickup. Plain and simple. And she was what one might call a granola cruncher. A hippy. And she was straight out of Central casting: the sandals, flamboyantly long hair, financial support from parents she reviled, and some professed membership in an apostrophe-heavy Eastern religion that I defy anyone to ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #24.4 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
deep and subtle story; stellar editing
31 January 2010 | by chuck-526See all my reviews

This film "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" is adapted from a collection of short stories of the same title by the deceased David Foster Wallace. The short story form remains paramount. Several themes are investigated: what is love? what bonds a couple together? how do private life events affect public research agendas? what b.s. is stereotypically common? You might assemble ideas in a novel way; you might have an epiphany ...but you might not. The story doesn't much care. What's more important is the dramatic arc of the story itself.

I didn't notice the running length of the film (although several others have commented on its relative shortness). To me the length was "right" for the story. Figuring out the time sequence of the events might be tricky, and might steal your attention more than it should; keep the synopsis "a graduate student copes with a recent breakup by conducting interviews with various men" in mind at all times.

There's lots of variety in the ways the mens' stories are told. Initially I imagined a list of unbroken formal interviews back to back - various "talking heads" sitting on the same chair in front of the same wall. But the reality of the film isn't like that at all. Each of the threads makes use of different devices: flashbacks, flashforwards, flashsideways; intermixing formal interviews with informal contacts; overheard conversations; jumping between internal narration and external events; casual conversations at house parties and academic department parties and bars; imagination played out realistically right in front of your eyes; characters morphing into others; asides with related characters; and so forth. And almost all of the threads are broken into segments that are intermixed with other threads; themes are much more of an organizing principle than time. Even the formal interview segments are broken up by cuts --or faux cuts-- so there's never a dull visual moment.

Some of the cut techniques are new to me. In every case the sound is seamlessly continuous - a spoken sentence remains a spoken sentence without any gaps or shifts. But the words are sometimes split between the same character at different times saying the same thing. Or they're split between different characters speaking a very similar --or even the exact same-- thing. Or they might (and this is what I've termed "faux cuts") have a hitch in the image as though a few frames had been spliced out - nothing as big as a change of camera angle, but a visual discontinuity nevertheless. (Are these faux cuts the next "Ken Burns effect"?) To my mind considerable audio and visual editing skills --well beyond what's typical of most new director's efforts-- are demonstrated here; the conventional words are "production values are high".

If you listen very closely there are a few internal jokes. For example usually the interviewer pokes the tape recorder and says "do you mind if I turn this on?" But once she says "do you mind if I turn this off?" The words make no sense and aren't consistent with the action, and are easily overlooked.

I liked the adaptation of the short story form, and I hope it blazes a path for other future films. To my mind the weak link though is the acting. Much of the material is extremely subtle and challenging, and would overwhelm even many A-list stage actors. But the film's actors are neither veterans nor geniuses. I found a couple of the casting decisions just plain jarring: one of the waiters seemed awfully wooden, and failed to convey some intended humor; and the imagined father figure bathroom attendant looked younger than his son! Apart from these, the acting varies from workmanlike up to quite good ...but nobody "burns up the screen" even when the material cries out for it.

The well-known TV persona and skills of the director (which admittedly I'm not at all familiar with:-) don't seem to be any sort of guide to something as completely different as this. Like a typical "art house" film, this is not for everybody. At the small screening room where I saw it, one person noisily fell asleep and another walked out. But while this film asks for an open mind and some investment of mind-share, you'll be richly rewarded.

POSTSCRIPT: I've become aware from some others' comments and from an interview with John Krasinski that some of my impressions and even some of my "facts" may be so far off the mark they're just plain back-assward. I seem to have missed some of the comedy, misidentified some of the characters, misjudged some actors' experience levels, and who knows what else. Now I'm doubting myself, wondering if I really saw the same movie or if I paid sufficient attention the first time. Ambiguity and multiple interpretations are part of the point, but not so much as to account for all the distance between my views and some others. I'm now resolved to watch this film a second time. In the meantime please put what I've opined under advisement -- and go see for yourself.

POST-POSTSCRIPT after second viewing next day: I couldn't find any evidence of "the hitchhiker" character, either in the film itself or in the credits. My hypothesis is after Lucy Gordon's unfortunate death but before final release, the film was re-cut to remove all the scenes that included her. My guess is there were originally a lot of flashbacks in what's now John Krasinski's monologue. That's where the hitchhiker's story appears to fit best, lots of cuts there too would have made that segment much more stylistically similar to the rest of the film, and the film would have had a more typical length. Also, I've softened my view on the acting – many of the performances are really very good. My bottom line is unchanged though: in the end the extraordinary material overpowers the acting. We're talking King Lear here, but we're not quite talking Laurence Olivier.


10 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed