The movie revolves around Leonard Kraditor (Phoenix), a suicidal case of a depressed man that was left by his fiancée and has now moved back in with his parents. He is working at the family dry cleaners and is the bane of his own existence. Enter the daughter of a soon to be business partner of his father's that puts a little smile on his face. Sandra (Vinessa Shaw) is a simple lovely women and falls for Leonard and they start dating with the approval of both families. Michelle (Paltrow), who lives in the same building, makes a grand entrance with much drama and problems. Leonard becomes infatuated with the sexy troubled party girl and sneaks around to spend time with her.
The storyline and events are almost inconsequential to this film - it is a true character study (exploration). When you meet someone interesting at a coffee shop does where you are, what you're eating or wearing matter? Of course not, it is the person, the conversation, their feelings and who they are that you are interested in. That is what this is; we explore and learn about the characters in great depth.
I felt Michelle could have been better cast. To me Paltrow is the sophisticated type and just didn't fit into the character perfectly - she still did a great job though. Shaw played her part to perfection. Joaquin didn't let down as usual. He is such a gifted actor and I hope to see him back on the screen soon. Some say this was his defining performance, maybe so for the genre, but I will always remember him as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and Max California in 8MM.
8 out of 10 - Rated R - Watch it for what it is and you will enjoy!