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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shrink reduces Kevin Spacey to baked couch potato

click to enlarge STONED COLD SPACEY: Kevin Spacey as Dr. Henry Carter in Shrink
  • STONED COLD SPACEY: Kevin Spacey as Dr. Henry Carter in Shrink

Kevin Spacey seems to hate playing guys we love to hate. The Oscar-winning actor delivers menacing, sarcastic line-readings with such delicious flatness that he commands the screen as a psycho killer or simmering suburbanite with rage issues. One doesn’t begrudge Spacey his bids to avoid typecasting, but his performances in less aggressive roles such as Pay It Forward, The Shipping News and now Shrink simply don't prove as much fun.

Spacey plays Los Angeles psychologist Henry Carter. The role would seem to be a perfect profession for the actor to play — so many therapists need to cultivate the poker-faced, sphinx-like, Dr. Melfi quality that encourages patients to break the silence and keep talking. Spacey’s Carter isn’t just any shrink, though. He's a rich, grieving pothead who can’t get past his wife’s death. Plus, he’s a celebrity therapist and best-selling self-help author of such unimaginative titles as Happiness Now and Stop Feeling Sad. (And now he’s sad! The irony!)

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(Image by Jihan Abdalla/Roadside Attractions)

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