When does love become obsession? In the romantic thriller Wicker Park, the answer doesn't come easily. Matthew (Josh Hartnett) is a young executive in the big city. He is steadily advancing in a great career, engaged to the boss's daughter, and preparing to take an international business trip that will yield him much success if it goes well. Things usually do go well for Matthew, except for a past relationship that he is continually haunted by.
In his recent past, he fell in love with a beautiful dancer and they began a passionate, intense relationship. He was shocked and heartbroken when she suddenly left the country without a word - not even goodbye. Determined to move forward with his new romance, he is completely unprepared when he almost encounters a woman he believes to be his long-lost love, Lisa, at a familiar restaurant. Because he misses the opportunity to actually see the woman, he is more disturbed by the idea that he may have just missed her. So begins his quest to find out if his former love has actually returned home or if certain events are mere coincedences.
During the same time frame, Matthew runs into his old running buddy, Luke (Matthew Lillard). They are delighted to see one another and now Matthew has an ally in his search. Luke ends up being a bit distracted when he meets his own dream woman: a mysterious, raven haired beauty named Alex (Diane Kruger).
Eventually, Matthew draws closer to finding the woman he imagines was his lost love and even discovers where she lives. Determined to see exactly who this woman is, he waits in hiding for her to come home. He is shocked to find Lisa - not his Lisa - but a woman named Lisa who is a complete stranger to him. Despite being extremely different from the woman he once loved, Matthew has a feeling that this woman knows more about his past than she admits.
This film was originally released to lukewarm praise but is actually a very good story. Based on the original French film, L'Appartement, Wicker Park is an unusual blend of intrigue, love-based obsession, and reliance on destiny. Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down), is believable as Matthew, a man desperate to rekindle the best relationship he's ever had, even at the risk of his job and engagement. Matthew Lillard (Scream) is a surprise in this role. He is a toned down version of his usual wildly silly characters, and his last scene in the film is quite touching. Diane Kruger is fantastic as an obsessed bystander, only able to long for what she thinks she can only have by deceit.
Just as this movie's plot becomes a tad too convoluted and the repeated jumps from chracter's recollections to the present day become a bit too annoying, the movie offers a great closing sequence and ends with a Grammy winning song.
Extra Extra! Tidbits About the Movie...
*In Reality - Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne have starred in another love story together - they were both in Troy - Byrne played Helen.
*Best Line - "Love makes you do crazy things. Things you wouldn't think in a million years that you would do." - Alex (Diane Kruger)
*Songworthy - "The Scientist" - Coldplay