starring Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Gretchen Mol, Fred Weller
screenplay by Neil LaBute, based on his play
directed by Neil LaBute
by Walter Chaw Early in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, a character mistakes "Medea" for "My Fair Lady". Not an easy thing to do, for sure, it's something that points to both LaBute's instinct to proselytize and to his unpleasant air of smug intellectual superiority. LaBute's films are science projects involved in the dissection of sexual politics; at their best, they illustrate the harshest salvos lobbed in the gender war, and at their worst, they serve mainly to confirm that LaBute has become so disdainful of his audience that first Possession and now The Shape of Things most resemble listless beasts over-burdened with broad symbol, churlishness, and portentous allusion. LaBute wants to hit you over the head and get away with something at the same time, his existential rage cooling in direct proportion to the self-pitying belief that no one understands him.