Human Nature [2001]

This fascinating comedy questions what we mean when we use words like "nature" and "civilization." Lila (Patricia Arquette, Lost Highway, True Romance), a nature writer who grows hair all over her body, falls in love with Nathan (Tim Robbins, The Player, The Hudsucker Proxy), a scientist attempting to teach table manners to mice. While hiking in the woods, they discover Puff (Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill), a man raised in the wild since childhood, whom Nathan seizes as a test subject for his experiments--and soon these three, along with Nathan's French lab assistant (Miranda Otto) are embroiled in criss-crossed love affairs as they (and the audience) attempt to figure out what it means to be true to one's own nature. Though Human Nature isn't as surefooted as Being John Malkovich (which was also written by distinctive screenwriter Charlie Kaufman), it has moments of startling comic genius. --Bret Fetzer

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