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Numb

Year: 2007
Production Co: Image Entertainment
Director: Harris Goldberg
Writer: Harris Goldberg
Cast: Matthew Perry, Lynn Collins, Kevin Pollack, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Gunton

Another victim of a crowded film marketplace, with a cute story that had enough laughs and tears to keep you interested but which I gather went nowhere, getting nowhere near the release it deserved even in its US home territory.

Matthew Perry puts his shambling, clumsy, sardonic persona to good use and plumbs the depths of despair as much as he needs to as Hudson, a successful screenwriter battling chronic depression.

Unlike in most depression stories he doesn't want to lay down and die but wants desperately to be rid of what's starting to feel like a witch's curse.

As his hapless writing partner (Pollack0 tries to keep their careers on the straight and narrow, a plucky studio executive (Collins, soon-to-be Mrs Wolverine) takes an interest in him and a sweet romance develops.

It gives Hudson even more reason to want to claw his way back to the real world instead of one where the dark waters in his mind cloud everything, and he goes through a series of doctors and even other lovers (including Steenburgen as a seemingly calm psychiatrist who ends up more unhinged than him) to figure out what to do.

One of the main reasons Numb stands ahead of the (albeit slight) competition is because it shows and portrays a rare understanding of the machinations of depression - from the depths to what can only be described as the funny side. Both the script and Perry's performance convey the trappings of a depressive mind well and it's attractive love story to boot.

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