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Film / Wicker Park

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Wicker Park is a 2004 psychological thriller/romance film directed by Paul McGuigan starring Josh Hartnett, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne, Matthew Lillard, and Jessica Paré. The film is a remake of the 1996 French movie L'Appartement, which in turn is loosely based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Hartnett plays Matthew - a successful photographer on the verge of getting engaged to his boss's daughter. He is back in his hometown of New York City for the evening when he overhears someone on a restaurant pay phone. It sounds suspiciously like Lisa (Kruger) the girl of his dreams from years ago who disappeared from his life without a trace. Matthew abruptly drops everything to try and find her, eventually tracking her down to an apartment...only to discover that the Lisa living there is a completely different person (Byrne). Or is she?

This film provides examples of:

  • Beautiful Dreamer: Alex watches over Matt sleeping on the couch.
  • Beta Couple: Luke and Alex are the best friends to Matthew and Lisa. Too bad Alex wants Matthew for herself.
  • Betty and Veronica: In the past Alex was the Betty, shy and demure but good hearted. Lisa was the Veronica - sexy and passionate. Played with since Matthew never knew of the Betty's existence and chose the Veronica straight away.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Matthew and Lisa reunite after two years apart and Luke is free from his toxic relationship with Alex. However Lisa has just found out her best friend sabotaged her own relationship, Rebecca has been abruptly dumped and even then Matthew and Lisa's future is uncertain.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde Lisa, Brunette Alex and Rebecca qualifies as the redhead, being a lighter shade of brown.
  • Broken Heel: Serves as a Chekhov's Gun. Lisa's heel breaks early on which later provides an "Eureka!" Moment moment for Matthew when he realizes that it wasn't Alex he saw at the café.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Alex has to use a phonebooth outside Bellucci's because her cell phone is not working.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Alex. See Perspective Flip below and viewers watching the film a second time will spot Rose Byrne in the various scenes the first time we see them.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Lisa, a sexy passionate dancer who is also kind and a good friend.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the past flashbacks, Matthew's hair is messy while in the present it is neatly combed. Similarly Lisa has curly hair in the past but straight hair in the present.
  • Love Redeems: Alex appears to see the error of her ways, telling Matthew that Lisa is at the airport. She also breaks it off with Luke to spare him from being trapped in a toxic relationship with her.
  • No Time to Explain: There would be no movie if Lisa had tried to talk to Matt about her going on a European tour. Instead she wrote a letter and handed it to Alex.
  • Oh, Crap!: Matthew when he runs into Rebecca at the airport. Alex when Matthew comes to lunch with her and Luke.
  • One-Steve Limit: It seems there are actually two Lisas... but one is really named Alex.
  • Perspective Flip: The film goes back to several scenes we'd previously seen and shows them from Alex's perspective.
  • Really Gets Around: In addition to her relationship with Matthew, Lisa seems to have a thing for married men. Alex pretends to be this, claiming she's sleeping with two surgeons at the hospital in addition to her thing with Luke.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Alex does this to Matthew and Lisa's relationship as we learn via flashbacks.
  • The Reveal: Happens midway through the movie rather than the end. The second Lisa is lying and the real Lisa was indeed at the restaurant. And another one again where the second Lisa is actually Alex, Luke's girlfriend.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: An example that doesn't involve murder but follows the same formula. We discover that Alex meddled in Lisa and Matthew's relationship and now the drama is will she get away with it?
  • Romantic False Lead: Alex tries to invoke this by attempting to hook up with Matthew. Instead she only serves to make herself an example of the trope.
  • Stalking is Love: Lisa calls Matthew out on this as he follows her to a dance class and pretends to be an employee at the shoe shop so he can serve her. Nonetheless she still asks him out.
  • Storefront Television Display: Matthew falls in love with Lisa's image he sees displayed on multiple screens inside the TV repair shop.
  • Title Drop: Wicker Park is the place where Matthew and Lisa had their first date.
  • Tsundere: From Luke's perspective, Alex is this. Though we know she has a reason for her erratic behaviour.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Matthew, coupled with Oh, Crap! when he checks under the covers to see he if he has slept with Alex.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Daniel, Lisa's stalker, vanishes after Matthew meets Alex for the first time.
  • Woman Scorned: Alex, though Lisa and Matthew didn't know they were scorning her.
  • Yandere: Alex meddled to split Matthew and Lisa up and keep them apart. She also went to great lengths to impersonate Lisa and pretend to live in her apartment. She's frequently referred to as "the crazy girl" though she eventually sees the error of her ways and allows Matthew and Lisa to get back together.