The Night Listener (2006)

On Friday night I was watching the original version of D.O.A. (1950) when the step-daughter and the boyfriend walked in with a copy of The Night Listener (2006). For some reason they really wanted me to watch it. They said it had great reviews on the DVD case. it starred Robin Williams and Toni Collette, blah, blah, blah.

Being a snob when it comes to movies I said I would have to check to see how it rated — 51/100. Ouch! Some critics loved it.

The Night Listener is intriguing, thought-provoking and harrowing by turns, with fine central and supporting performances and a richly satisfying feel.

The New York Post hated the film.

This Sundance dud is a turgid gay soap opera with a limp twist, showcasing Robin Williams at his maudlin worst.

The only way for me to decide was to see what Roger Ebert had to say. I like his reviews and taste in films. After a quick search I found that he gave The Night Listener three stars, two thumbs way up and called it “an atmospheric Hitchcockian thriller”. I was game.

Robin Williams plays a radio show host that starts a telephone friendship with one of his listeners, a 14-year-old boy (Rory Culkin). It turns out that this kid just wrote an autobiography that details years of sexual abuse from his parents and neighbours. As the movie drags on you start to ask yourself where the story is going. More questions are raised than answered. What is the point of Williams friendship with Culkin? Why does he want to find him so badly?

This is a terrible film. I should have taken the advice from some posters on the IMDB message board that described the film as a “lame”, “horrible movie” which was “a waste of 2 hours!”

Roger, you really let me down on this one. *

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Posted in DVD Reviews at 10:33 AM