The "brief" part is one of the biggest problems in "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men."
In adapting the late David Foster Wallace's book of the same name, writer-director John Krasinski spends so little time with each of the male "subjects" being interviewed about their fears and fantasies, it's hard to connect with any of them or feel intrigued or moved by their stories. They mainly come off as neurotic, obnoxious or both. And the actors playing them are so self-consciously performing as they sit at the same table and talk into the same microphone, one after another, their soliloquies feel stagey and false.
Subject No. 14 (Ben Shenkman), as he's known scientifically, is afraid to be intimate with women because of his tendency to scream out something totally inappropriate at the point of climax (it's actually a pretty funny line). Subject No. 59 (Joey Slotnick) recalls having his first erotic sensations while watching "Bewitched" as a child. And so on.
By contrast, the woman questioning them for her doctoral thesis in anthropology, the reserved Sara (Julianne Nicholson), exhibits so little personality, she's a cipher – and she's supposed to be the central figure holding everything together.
Krasinski is making his debut behind the camera here, but the star of TV's "The Office" is actually more effective in front of it. He appears in one of the stronger sequences in this scattershot production as Ryan (or Subject No. 20), the man who's come in and out of Sara's life and inspired her study. He's clearly as comfortable with drama as he is with comedy, as evidenced by his work as a prospective father in "Away We Go." But then he undermines his own performance here with copious jump cuts, a distracting and gimmicky device he uses far too frequently.
The cast for Warner Bros. film version of Jonah Hex continues to fill in, today with The Hollywood Reporter stating that Will Arnett and Michael ...