If “Third Person” reminds you vaguely of “Crash” it’s for good reason as they are both directed by Paul Haggis. However, the storyline in “Crash” has its characters overlapping to create a full, more seamless story, while this pieced-together film doesn’t quite fit. The star-studded cast faces movie-worthy drama, but not much else. It’s three separate stories trying to outdo each other for who has the worst life.
There is Michael (Liam Neeson) in Paris who has taken a leave of absence from his life and wife (Kim Basinger) while involved in a love affair with a younger woman, Anna (Olivia Wilde) who has daddy issues, to say the least. Michael is suffering from some demons of his own as we’re shown in opening and closing scenes of the movie.
In Italy, shady American Scott (Adrien Brody) meets strange, but beautiful Monika (Moran Atlas) in a bar and is immediately taken with her. So much so that he wants to help her in any way possible be reunited with her young daughter. Who's conning who?
And then there is Julia (Mila Kunis) who is in a custody battle with her ex-husband Rick (James Franco). She is a struggling mother who loves her son but lost custody when she put him in danger. Julia’s lawyer (Maria Bello) has set up a chance for her to redeem herself but Julia faces too many emotional obstacles to get it together.
That theme of the characters trying to “get it together” throughout the movie makes it awfully depressing and a bit long-winded. The way the movie is told, the audience wants to see what happens in the end, if they haven’t already guessed, but by the time the end comes it’s hard to care anymore.
Final words: The women had the more powerful performances but it’s not enough to keep the movie afloat to the end.