Sorry, Haters

on March 01, 2006 by Kevin Courrier
In an attempt to capture the fear and loathing in the wake of 9/11, "Sorry, Haters" reeks of glib paranoia. Director Jeff Stanzler doesn't give us a recognizable tissue sample of our uneasiness (as Spike Lee's "The 25th Hour" did); he inflates his story instead with outrageous improbabilities.

Phoebe (Robin Wright Penn) is an unhappy TV producer angry at her husband whom she suspects may be having an affair with her colleague (Sandra Oh). With revenge on her mind, she hails a cab driven by Ashade (Abdellatif Kechiche), a Syrian whose brother has been detained and denied entry into America. They discover they have mutual needs, until Phoebe turns out not to be the ally Ashade believes her to be.

Besides its hollow assertions, "Sorry, Haters" barely makes any sense. When Phoebe is ranting and boozing, for instance, in the home of Ashade's observant sister-in-law, you don't believe that he would tolerate it. This bizarre film seems to suggest that it's our licentious behavior that is driving the Arab world to terrorist acts. "Sorry, Haters" is indeed a sorry effort. Starring Robin Wright Penn, Abdellatif Kechiche and Sandra Oh. Directed and written by Jeff Stanzler. Produced by Karen Jaroneski, Jeff Stanzler, Gary Winick and Jake Abraham. An IFC release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 83 min

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