Wrong

Wrong is a movie about a lot of things. It is about a man trying to get his dog back from a guru with strange telepathic powers and an acid scarred face. It is about a gardener who has to try to fix a palm tree that suddenly turned into a pine tree. It is about a young woman who works at Jesus Organic Pizza and who always wanted to give birth at the beach. You could say it is a little all over the place.

But as scattered as that sounds on paper, it still manages to be a pretty cohesive film. Yes, most of the subplots could be separated into short films without losing any of their humor, but putting them together creates a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. There’s something about the fact that this is all happening at the same time to all of these people which makes the movie's more absurd touches feel less arbitrary. By intercutting all of these vignettes together it suggests that this isn't just about a handful of confused people, it's about a whole world that’s suddenly become darkly surreal. It would be weird for your neighbor to just decide to drive his yellow two-door to the ‘end of the world’, but it starts to make a little more sense if everyone else on the block is also crazy.

It helps that all of the stories have a similar tone, even as they share almost no plot overlap. The movie is consistently deadpan. Someone actually says “It’s been scientifically proven that all people named Bruno end up hanging themselves” with a straight face. People come back from the dead and then they  think it's weird that you think it's weird that they're back. There's one building where it's always raining indoors, but no one comments on it. You might find these little details funny, or awkward, or just strange, but it doesn’t undercut the oddness by mugging or begging for a laugh, which gives it a strong sense of integrity. Say what you will about this film, but it is unabashedly what it is.

In a way, this is a close spiritual cousin to one of Charlie Kaufman's movies; it has the same persistent surrealness of a Synecdoche New York. The difference is that Kaufman clearly has deep existential issues on his mind, while Wrong doesn't feel like it's trying to plumb the human condition. (Unless making telepathic contact with your missing dog is a necessary step for spiritual enlightment and no one told me.) That might make this a more minor film in some ways, but it doesn't make it any less fun. If you're looking for a good time with a movie about kidnapped dogs, spontaneously mutating trees and inscrutable gurus, it's hard to go wrong with Wrong.

Winner: Me

Wrong on IMDB