A neurotic divorcée and his estranged ex-wife reconnect for an unlikely second chance at happiness in Wilson.
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a man living out his days in an era that passed him by long ago. He looks around and sees a world addicted to socially crippling technology and devices. He’s mystified by the willingness of people to just disconnect from the world. Of course, to everyone else, he’s an unhinged nut with no sense of decorum or filters. Wilson is a square peg in a world of round holes.
The film’s opening sequence hits all the right marks with a character whom we’re eager to get to know. The fascination quickly wears off the moment that we do so. This is the kind of dark comedy that needs a Sherpa to find the laughs. Its one-note premise has about the same impact as a simple triangle in a complex opera.
The film is based on a short 70-page graphic novel (or little more than a few pages of written text). That’s perfectly fine for a 10-minute read, but not enough to carry a 90-minute film. As a result, nearly every scene feels incomplete. The dialogue and interactions feel contrived, dubious and counterfeit. The talent is undeniably first-rate (Harrelson and Laura Dern playing Wilson’s troubled ex), but they’re still stuck playing the triangle.
Trust your instincts, smile at the crazy people and keep moving briskly down the street.