Next Stop Wonderland
Wonderland is a train stop in Boston which allows access to a nearby racing track. This film by Brad Anderson takes the well-worn cliché of two people meeting on a train and develops an entire concept out of the idea by looking at what happens to them before they meet, rather than after.
I almost liked Erin. She's independent and one of the few people (especially in cinema) who claims to enjoy being alone. However, because she's fallen prey to the idea that she's nothing without a man, she turns to opening books to random pages and trying to figure out what cosmic relevance the word her finger lands on has to her romantic life. Erin, baby, get a vibrator. Vibrators are your friend. Vibrators don't quit until you do. Vibrators don't watch football. Unlike Alan, vibrators aren't up to their neck in debt, and don't have fathers who are gambling their life savings away at the track.
Basically, we get to meet all the dyfunctional people Erin (Hope Davis) and Alan (Alan Gelfant) date before they find each other in the predictable conclusion. If this is supposed to be some sort of upbeat ending, I'd like to offer my differing opinion.
Here's what likely happens after the film ends: Alan has his legs broken by his loan shark. His father commits suicide after squandering his last dollar. Alan seeks therapy. Erin nurses him back to health, but unable to cope with his debt and the loss of his father, Alan takes to dressing up in a perch costume and running around the wharf in the middle of the night molesting lobsters.
Let's face it, destiny is real neat until you start thinking about the long-term consequences.
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