Next Stop, Wonderland - C+
Viewed August 23, 1998 at the Angelika

Yet another in a long line of indie romantic comedies, Next Stop, Wonderland follows the travails of two Bostonians - nurse Erin (Hope Davis, turning in a fine performance) and volunteer aquarist Alan. Largely episodic in nature and shot in a near-documentary style, Wonderland is hampered by the fact that Erin is simply a much more interesting character than Alan, a major handicap for a film that cuts between its two leads' storylines. There are some great bits early on, especially when Erin screens, both phone and face, potential suitors answering a personal placed by her mother. Meanwhile, Alan's subplot has to resort to odd whimsy involving gangsters and blowfish. However, the film starts to seriously run aground when Erin is courted by a fun-loving (and somewhat stereotypical) Brazilian -- which allows Brad Anderson to indulge his love of bossa nova music, and I discover that long stretches of bossa nova are highly annoying.