“Your Name Here” is a freaking weird, crazy ride of a movie. I just thought I should come right out and say that from the get-go because as soon as you understand that, you’ll be much better served as you settle in for the ride. You’ll also be somewhat better off if you understand the film is kind of, sort of about sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick… but then again it’s not. Let me backtrack.
“Your Name Here” tells the story of William J. Frick (Pullman), a ne’er do well, struggling sci-fi writer who is immensely popular in his field but mainstream popularity has eluded him. Holed up in his garage while an endless party takes place in his house, Frick avoids paying child support while he types away, snorts away and doesn’t sleep at all. He’s troubled by an obsessive lust for young Hollywood ingénue Nikki (Manning) as well as an odd fixation on his long dead sister Laura. Oh, and he’s also trapped inside several different paranoid realities that keep caving in on one another (see, told ya it was a weird movie). But “Your Name Here” isn’t being weird for the sake of weirdness. No, there’s actually some kind of odd brilliance here brought forth by writer/director Matthew Wilder’s balls-out ideas and some outstanding acting by Taryn Manning and Bill Pullman.
Depending on how much you know and how much you care to find out, it’s interesting how “Your Name Here” takes some ideas and experiences from Phillip K. Dick’s life and puts them in the movie. There’s also some homage’s to his stories as well as tie-in’s to 1970’s popular culture but none of it is really specific. Wilder has an eye for the seventies and not since David Fincher’s “Zodiac” have I seen such childhood flashbacks to my youth represented onscreen. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. And Taryn Manning again shows some serious acting chops as Nikki, the one second sultry flirt followed next by stony robotic injector of paranoia. Pullman as Frick is simply brilliant. You can almost see the fried wheels in his brain spinning as he, along with we, try to figure out what the heck is going on.
As Frick finds himself in one bizarre situation after another, we the audience becomes equally confused as to what’s going on. But if you stick with “Your Name Here” until the end, you will be rewarded. For all its oddities and confusion, the ending come across as very powerful and quite sad. In fact I found myself reflecting on the films sadness well after the lights had come up. Again, “Your Name Here” is not for everyone and it reminded me of some odd literary films like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Naked Lunch.” But if you’re a fan of what’s been described or alluded to, give the film a look and be sure to hang in there until the end.