Picks and Pans Review: The Shape of Things

updated 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 01:00AM

Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol, Frederick Weller

The main male character here is named Adam (Rudd) and the female is Evelyn (Weisz). Adam and Eve. Get it? The two students meet at their college art museum, where he's a guard and she's about to vandalize a statue. Soon they're a twosome and she's artfully resculpting his life: persuading him to lose weight, dress better and even get a nose job.

Director Neil LaBute (Possession) transfers, with few changes, his stage play to the screen, and it is performed with skill and perceptiveness by the cast that did it Off-Broadway. His latest examination of the battle between the sexes is a malignant, if minor, piece of work, but it will hold your interest. And there's a nasty surprise near the end that will make your toes curl. (R)

BOTTOM LINE: A good cast in provocative Shape

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