Mail Order Wife

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Mail Order Wife ★★ 2004 (R)

Making a documentary parody really only works if the subject is funny and the characters are caricatures (see “This is Spinal Tap”). Abusive men who order wives through the mail doesn't quite have the same wink-wink-nudge-nudge appeal. Director Andrew Gurland, playing himself, is a documentary filmmaker getting wrapped up in a mail-order marriage gone bad, who then offers the overseas newlywed a place to stay (i.e. his bed) and helps her find a job. The camera bobs and weaves, trying to focus the entire time. It's almost like it doesn't want to watch, either. An unlikable cast of fictional characters is trumped by a cameo from unlikable nonfictional caricature Jose Canseco. 92m/C DVD . US Andrew Gurland, Eugenia Yuan, Adrian Martinez, Deborah Teng; D: Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland; W: Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland; C: Luke Geissbuhler.