Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
“The Heart Machine” is a tries-too-hard title that sounds like a medical drama or perhaps a robot romance. But it is nothing of the sort. Thank goodness.
Instead, this insightful drama layered with subtle thriller elements aims for the kind of observations that Jason Reitman’s over-reaching “Men, Women & Children” failed to fully fulfill regarding humankind’s emotional disconnection in the midst of a digital media explosion. On the continuum of films about gadget-enhanced lifestyles, “The Heart Machine” lies somewhere between the AOL love letter “You’ve Got Mail” and the more cautionary “Her” on the issue of what effect all this technology is having on society.
While Reitman went overboard with an excessive amount of obvious story strands demonstrating the dangers and drawbacks inherent in viewing life through the artificial prism of Facebook, porn videos, gaming, texting and escort sites, writer/director Zachary Wigon opts for a less bludgeoning, more introspective approach in his impressive feature debut.
He places his trust in a pair of attractive, engaging leads and a bustling though deglamorized urban bubble to do most of the heavy lifting. That his movie easily summons deserved comparisons to “Catfish,” “Vertigo” and even “Blow-Up,” thanks to the underlying tension he builds through his narrative choices and long uncut shots, is admirable indeed.