Numb Review

Matthew Perry introduces us to yet another medical malady that apparently occurs only in the movies: After smoking too much pot, he becomes alienated from the outside world and even his own body and is diagnosed with "depersonalization disorder." The "numb" of the title refers to his utter lack of care about anything that happens around him, and he has to really work at trying to interact with other people.

Which makes the fact that Numb has a romance at its core all the stranger: Perry's Hudson is a high-power screenwriter and before long he's dating Sarah (Lynn Collins), a studio exec who is taken with him when Hudson and partner Tom (Kevin Pollak) drop by to pitch her a script. It's unclear why she's smitten by the nearly catatonic Hudson... though the way Perry plays it, Hudson seems to be able to come and go from his semi-coma at will.

Meanwhile, Hudson seeks treatment from every doctor and head shrink in L.A., which leads him to try every kind of pharmaceutical on the market and encounter all manner of strange docs. The film hits its most bizarre point when he hooks up with Mary Steenburgen, a psychiatrist who promptly lands in bed with him after Hudson bemoans alienating his girlfriend.

Hudson is pretty clearly a thinly-vieled analogue for writer/director Harris Goldberg (author of both Deuce Bigalow movies), and thank God he's moved up to a little more sophisticated story this time out. However, his movie ultimately lacks some much-needed depth, playing out like a series of scenes with one nutty doctor after another, many of which are filled with pat plot points (the shrink that falls asleep, the overprescription of pills).

Perry obviously chose this project in another attempt to distance himself from his sitcom persona (and possibly due to some sense memory from his own stint in rehab), but the result is mixed. Perry is fairly watchable -- as are the relatively limited number of scenes with Collins -- but the overall effect is muted. Will Hudson end up happy, with the girl, get cured? I'd be lying if I said I felt any less numb than Hudson by the end of the movie.

The DVD includes a commentary by Goldberg and a making-of featurette.


Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 14th June 2008

Distributed by: Image Entertainment

Reviews 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew


Producer: Kirk Shaw

Starring: as Hudson, as Sara, as Dr. Cheryl Blaine, Kevin Pollak as Tom, as Mt. Sinai Nurse