Published Mar 01, 2006Canada specialises in limply whimsical features about reclusive, "alienated" man-children who learn the value of "living in the real world." So it comes as no surprise that Aaron Woodley gives us Rhinoceros Eyes, with one such voyeur-boy living in the back of a prop house.
He's named Chep (Michael Pitt), and he's happy to be living in the midst of a tchotchke wonderland (which he naturally knows like the back of his hand). But then he's left alone in the shop and meets up with production designer Fran (Paige Turco), who requests the title item and sets his heart a-flutter. Soon, he's committing thefts to satisfy her requests in the hopes that it will lead to a romantic union, even though his lines are all swiped from one of the movies he obsessively re-watches.
There really are no people on Earth like Chep, a straw man used by the admitted cinephile director to scapegoat his own affinity for fantasies. To that end, Woodley takes his considerable animation skills and debases them, creating fanciful creatures out of the prop house's contents and using them as "bad" fantasies to keep our man in the prop house.
Leavening the tedium is the punk management of the place, the leader of whom is obsessed with the four gorillas who jumped him at a costume party, but Woodley's a bear for comic timing and squanders the few good lines he gives them.
You could see this half-assed movie now, or you could wait for the next fantasy-busting CanCon epic to open, or you could just stay home and watch Desperate Housewives. Your call. (Capri)