I Love Your Work (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

"What a piece of doggie doody! Do you believe how big that was at Sundance?"

"Of course it was. It's about gay, heroin-addicted angels."

Dialogue from I Love Your Work

You might deduce from the exchange above that writer-director-actor Adam Goldberg is not totally enchanted with the movie industry. And I'm pretty sure you'd be right. The lead character in this film is a movie star who is ... (wait for it) ... disenchanted with fame. Fame means that he lives in fear of being stalked. Fame means that he has a loveless, artificial, movie-star marriage. Fame means that he has to hang out at phony-baloney Hollywood parties and talk to star-fuckers. Fame means that he has lost the only happiness he ever knew. This is the sort of thing that weighs on the minds of many who achieve prominence and are universally recognized. They seem to have abandoned the real world to live in a forced insularity. They hate their island because it is full of sycophants and sleazeballs, but they can't leave their island because the teeming ocean of fans represents harassment and danger. They long for the days when they lived a normal life. Those who are strong and intelligent find a way to carve out a normal existence with their friends and family, aided of course by the bazillions of dollars which come with the positive side of fame. (But being famous and poor - THAT would suck.) The character in this film is not one of the strong. The negative aspects of fame do not merely weigh on his mind, but have crushed it. He magnifies and/or distorts every small irritation into a dramatic crisis, and can only escape through fantasies - or perhaps they are delusions - or perhaps they are memories.

In the end, Gray Evans ends up turning the tables on the fans who want to be in his life. He starts to stalk one of his own fans, a modest video store clerk who is working his way through film school, because the young man and his adoring girlfriend remind him of when he was happy, before he was a star. As the star gets more involved in the lives of the couple, to the point where he is spending some time with them and eavesdropping on them the rest of the time, his delusions gradually start to reform themselves until he can no longer distinguish the young man from himself at an earlier time in his life. Tragedy ensues.

This film is the work of a man who aspires to be taken seriously as an artist, and he is intent on portraying the state of Gray's madness. He accomplishes this in two ways. First, he switches back and forth from Gray's POV to reality. Second, he expends a lot of energy showing Gray twitching, grimacing, tossing, and turning. The character is played by Giovanni Ribisi, who may be the only actor in the world who seems to have more tics and neuroses than director Adam Goldberg himself.

Goldberg has some smarts and some talent, but he's at a point in his filmmaking career where he's just taking himself much too seriously, and I Love Your Work seems too much like a senior project at NYU film school - just too eager to establish heavyweight artistic cred by being both opaque and tragic. As an actor, Goldberg has been most effective when he has turned his wound-too-tight persona into self-parody. Goldberg's work in The Hebrew Hammer, for example, is a brilliant use of his intensity for deadpan comedy. After all, the world only needs about one guy like Ralph Fiennes, and even Fiennes himself is starting to play more genial characters. The Fiennes Principle also applies to writers and directors. We only need about one Bergman per millennium.  I'll bet that Goldberg's too-intense, audience-be-damned style of writing and directing would also benefit from being a lot more laid-back, and from trying to establish an emotional communication with his audience rather than showing off for them.

I Love Your Work screened in Toronto in 2003, then at SXSW and Cannes Film Market in the spring of 2004. Not much action. It floated around in limbo for more than a year until it finally received a theatrical release in (per Box Office Mojo) one theater in November of 2005. It earned some respect, but too many people simply felt it was an unapproachable, inaccessible film. I have to agree. Many of the fans in the movie wish they could make contact with Gray Evans, but he just insists on keeping his distance. I feel the same way about the movie itself. I wanted to like it, but it just kept twitching, darting its eyes around, mumbling, and moving away uncomfortably, Ribisi-style.



  • The widescreen transfer is anamorphically enhanced (16x9)
  • Full-length commentary from Goldberg and Ribisi



Franka Potente's breasts are seen clearly in a "morning after sex" scene, and then again at medium distance when she flashes some obnoxious entertainment reporters.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C. It shows some promise, but belongs in the festival/arthouse league. It is too ambitious a film for a director in the early stages of his career, and it is too arty and self-important for any filmmaker. It needs less intellectualizing and more communication with the audience.

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