The Shape Of Things Review

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Feminist art grad Evelyn sees boyfriend-potential in overweight English student Adam. Under Eve's guidance Adam is soon dropping pounds, but his friends are not sure about the new look or Eve's agenda.


Perhaps it's fitting that Neil LaBute's devious polemic on our obsession with surface appearances should at first glance look like a movie - there are camera moves and close-ups! - but ultimately make no more than a cosmetic effort to disguise its stage origins.

Shot in just 19 days with the original four-strong stage cast, it would be churlish to suggest that LaBute is wasting his talents on side projects, but at a time when fans of his blistering opening salvo n The Company Of Men, Your Friends & Neighbours hoped the Mormon misanthrope might develop a movie vocabulary to set alongside his unique dramatic voice, it is disappointing to find him confusing mediums. On the plus side, the actors all benefit from intimate knowledge of difficult parts, and barbs at modern art and sexual mores do cut through.

People who presumed Possession was proof that Neil LaBute had gone soft should engage with, if not exactly enjoy, this female rejoinder to In The Company Of Men. However, it would be a mistake for anyone to expect a full-blown movie.