Philip Seymour Hoffman is an actor with appeal. He has a good range and has many memorable roles (Magnolia, Happiness, The Talented Mr. Ripley, etc). But, here, he seems to only slightly extend his mouth-breathing misanthropic role from the obscene voice caller from Happiness into that of a tortured husband who loses his wife to suicide and gets addicted to huffing gas. The performance is not without merit, but the role of this pathetic personage just travels one long flat line to its inevitable conclusion.
published January 23, 2002