Broken Flowers
Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Jessica Lange
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch
MCA Home Video 2006
106 minutes

In Broken Flowers former comic actor Bill Murray does another take on his Lost In Translation lost, stoic guy. This story of a fifty something fading Don Juan whose girlfriends all basically look the same and all leave him is the kind of movie cinema lovers will love but movie goers will either hate or watch and then wonder why. In some ways, Broken Flowers is an artistic mystery movie about who a man is and was

Broken Flowers has a lot going for it. It is one of those rare American movies that tries to go for that European sensitivity and approach to filmmaking. This is a movie as much about an attempt at self-discovery as it is about film making in general. The premise is that Don Johnston, played by Bill Murray, gets dumped by his latest live-in girlfriend on the same day he receives a pink envelope and letter telling him he fathered a child some nineteen years ago and his son is looking for him.

Don Johnston –a running gag is everybody thinks his name is Don Johnson—is convinced by his neighbor Winston (Jeffrey Wright), to go on a road trip and find out who wrote the pink letter by talking to the women in his past he might have had a nineteen year old son with. The Bill Murray character is amazingly passive and neighbor and amateur sleuth Winston basically gets him on the road by setting everything up (hotel, car, plane, etc reservations) for him. Murray has a series of encounters and almost confrontations, each more unsatisfying than the previous one, with his exes and then returns home.

Director Jim Jarmusch breaks every single Hollywood rule in this moody, sometimes surrealistic, and very artistic piece of work. The color pink plays an important role, as does Don Johnston’s innate passivity. This is a very modern story told in a very modern way. It is in many ways a movie about the mysteries of life.

Broken Flowers: you will either like it or wonder why you watched it.

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