This is one of those films that has caught my eye every time I've been in a video shop but until last night I'd never actually picked it up. I'd actually already decided to watch Huckabees but on picking up Wilbur, I changed my mind and replaced the Huckabees box (those white ones you get in Blockbuster) back on the shelf.
When I got to the counter it turned out that I'd actually replaced the Wilbur box on the Huckabees shelf so I ended up watching Huckabees anyway. To be honest, I was a bit bored by it. It's not as funny as the Royal Tenenbaums, the plot is pointless and I guess I wasn't in the mood to search for all the quirky postmodern hidden meanings.
So... at the end of the film I took Huckabees back to Blockbuster, retrieved Wilbur from where I'd left him amongst the Huckabees and rented him instead.
Great film - under rated I reckon, given that I'd never heard of it except for seeing the box on the shelf so many times. As it starts with "W" it's always right at the bottom right hand corner of the very last shelf you look at in Blockbuster, by which time you're bored of looking and have probably already selected a film to watch anyway. Poor lonely Wilbur!
It's a great film, quite sad but well made with a good dose of comedy. Wilbur and Harbour (brothers) run a bookshop they inherited from their father which Harbour loves but Wilbur hates and wants to sell. Enter Alice, a single mother who sells books that patienst leave behind in the wards she works in at the hospital to raise money for her and daughter Mary to live on. Cue love story, more suicide attempts, strange German psychologist and crazy nurse, terminal illness, love story with the other brother and another suicide attempt.
It's beautifully made, minimalistically done with barely any characters, well acted by a relatively unknown cast. You can really get into the characters and their interactions. The bookshop setting is great too - it's hard not to love a bookshop full of old dusty books.
And it has a fantastic quote in it:
Harbour: What's it like, being dead?
Wilbur: It's dull as dishwater. It's silent and completely dark... it's like being in Wales.