Human Nature

Rated 3.0 An uptight scientist (Tim Robbins) and his hirsute lover (Patricia Arquette) try to socialize a man raised as an ape (Rhys Ifans), who has sexual designs on the scientist’s lab assistant (Miranda Otto), who in turn has designs on the scientist. Director Michel Gondry’s pacing is deft and the performances well orchestrated, but the film’s true author is writer Charlie Kaufman. His script has the free-association wackiness he brought to Being John Malkovich—his imagination doesn’t seem ready to dry up just yet—and Kaufman scores a number of rhetorical points about the tension between nature, civilization and the drive for sex. It’s playfully unpredictable—not because we don’t know where it’s going (the flashback structure pretty much gives us that) but because we don’t know how it’ll get there.