Perception Movie Review
As melodrama goes, Perception is filled to the absolute brim with it. What seems like it will start off as a lighthearted, quirky comedy soon becomes something entirely else. Piper Perabo stars as Jen (not "Jennifer"), who's just returned to New York after a failed stint at living in L.A. Here, we find her parents are in rapid mental decline. Her semi-girlfriend (Heather Burns) is clingy and, well, stupid. Her ex-boyfriend (Seth Meyers) keeps coming around. And then Jen, in one of the big "holy crap!" moments of cinema, gets run over by a truck.
Now stuck in a wheelchair, Jen ignores her therapy and instead mopes around the house. One of her therapists introduces Jen to hard drugs. Her dad dies, since she's unable to get up the stairs to help save him. The drug-happy therapist gets AIDS. Mom commits suicide. The ex-girlfriend gets pregnant, then shoots the father when he tries to leave town. And there's more.
Billed as a "dark comedy" by the filmmakers, there's not a single laugh to be found in this bizarre mess of a movie. I mean, seriously, you'd have to be in one hell of a mental state to find anything in Perception to be funny. (The title, I'm guessing, is meant to say something about how anything can be humorous if you're willing to perceive it as such... or not.) Perabo, with her bleached-blond hair, isn't bad here, but the script is such a downer, and one that ultimately goes nowhere and says absolutely nothing, that it doesn't matter. Supporting players -- from the totally wrong Meyers to Office Space's Ajay Naidu as the ill-fated ex-lesbian baby's daddy -- are almost universally miscast.
Wife got too big a smile on her face today? Sit her in front of Perception for a spell. That'll straighten her out.