Newest Reviews
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
  Love Liza Left Behind
Year: 2002
Director: Todd Louiso
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Sarah Koskoff, Jack Kehler, Stephen Tobolowsky, Shannon Holt, Erika Alexander, J.D. Walsh, Wayne Duvall
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Wilson Joel (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a website designer who has suffered a sudden bereavement when his wife, Liza, commits suicide. Unable to function through his repressed grief, Wilson begins to behave erratically, and is asked to take a holiday from work to recuperate. He goes to the beach where his honeymoon took place, and on the way back to the airport he is struck by the smell of gasoline coming from a taxi. Now he has something to replace his lost love: he is addicted to the smell of gasoline fumes...

Whenever a person tells you that someone close to them has died, you always say, "I'm sorry" and try to sympathise. But Love Liza features as its central character a man so messed up with sorrow that he pushes everyone away; not consciously, but through his self-absorption. Written by Hoffman's brother Gordy Hoffman, this film is a showcase for the actor's estimable talent, and he embraces the eccentric and tragic figure of Wilson, creating a man who has become detatched from the world, and only giving out random clues as to what is going on in his head.

When hanging around gas stations isn't enough, Wilson buys a canister, fills it up and enjoys the great smell of petrol in the privacy of his own home. Meanwhile, everyone around him is trying to make things as easy as possible, being kind and tolerant of his difficult behaviour. When his co-worker Maura (Sarah Koskoff) arrives at his doorstep, Wilson explains away the fumes as the fuel for his model aeroplane, and then has to go out and buy a model plane to cover his addiction. But he finds that the smell of the plane fuel is just as satisfying, and starts sniffing that as well.

Wilson feels unbearable guilt, believing he has let his wife down: "I think I did something" he tells a trucker who isn't listening. When Maura takes him to the zoo and tells him that she is attracted to him, he is filled with dread and runs away, unable to accept love any more. Then the film goes into a road movie, with Wilson driving aimlessly until, through a series of incidents, he ends up at a model boat racing competition, which he disrupts by taking a swim halfway through a race. Despite the tragedy, there are more than a few laughs to be had as long as you don't feel too uncomfortable.

We don't know what Wilson was like before the suicide, so Love Liza is in many ways an alienating experience. If you offer someone sympathy you expect at least a little thanks, but Wilson is beyond that, we never even see him crying until the end. He has a rival in his grief in the shape of Mary Ann (Kathy Bates), his mother-in-law. Connected in their loss, Mary Ann wants Wilson to open a suicide note that Liza has left him, but Wilson can never find the right time. The whole film leads up to the reading of the letter, but we're not sure that this act will have the necessary catharsis. For all its quirkiness, Love Liza is a small, sad film, which leaves a poignant feeling, ironically because of its largely unsentimental approach. Music by Jim O'Rourke.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 5677 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: