‘Mysteries’ Finally Opens in Theaters

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is finally opening today in limited release. If you are in New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, then you too can go and see Jon Foster, Sienna Miller, and Peter Sarsgaard bring Michael Chabon’s first movie to the big screen.

But should you?

Let’s face it, the reviews, well, they ain’t that pretty. And there’s a reason it’s taken more than a year since it opened at Sundance in 2007 for the movie to finally to get distribution. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gives the film only two out of five stars, calling it “artificial” and says “to call it ‘inspired by’ [Chabon’s novel would be a stretch.” Ebert has some good words for the cast, noting “some well-developed performances for such an underdeveloped screenplay” thanks to Sarsgaard and Mena Suvari, among others. But still, Ebert doesn’t sound thrilled.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times says “even the most passionate fan of Pittsburgh-in-the-’80s-crazy-summer-coming-of-age stories is likely to be disappointed” by Mysteries, “a clumsy and confused adaptation” of Chabon’s novel. David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle calls it an “earnest but unconvincing film” missing “the edge, charm and drily pointed cultural observations that made Chabon’s 1988 debut so auspicious.”

Almost all the reviews compare Rawson Marshall Thurber’s film to last weekend’s other coming-of-age flick, Adventureland, with the implication being your money is better spent watching that over what Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune calls a “slick” but ultimately “fake” film. Indeed, out of 139 reviews, Rotten Tomatoes says 88 percent were positive for Adventureland; of the 16 reviews for Mysteries, only 11 percent were good.

If you want to judge for yourself, you can find the trailer over at Apple. I myself will probably go this weekend just to see for myself if it’s as bad as it sounds. But don’t say I didn’t warn you in advance.

One Comment

  1. Alexander Field

    This is a complete shame…this was a great book and I was actually looking forward to it. Now I am really looking forward to Kavalier & Clay, if it ever gets off the ground and into production – they had better NOT screw that book up. Amazing! : )

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