John Madden, David Auburn and Rebecca Miller, 2005

A great mathematician who went crazy has died. A notebook with an unpublished proof has been found in his desk drawer. His daughter, who may also be a great mathematician and may also be going crazy, but who unlike him is a hottie, claims to have written it. But did she? Or is she lying? Or is she crazy? The fact that she does it with Jake Gyllenhaal instead of punching him in the face suggests the third possibility, but eventually the flashbacks reveal all.

This is a movie in which people recite obviously scripted dialogue at each other in a too-neat, stagey fashion. The main thing it has going for it is Gwyneth Paltrow as the unstable math girl. I would like to see her in reprise the role of unstable math girl in a better movie. I've seen many films that could benefit from the addition of an unstable math girl.

Jake Gyllenhaal has really stupid hair in this movie. People probably didn't realize this because it is a currently popular style for some reason, but before very long anyone who watches this is going to be suppressing the same sort of giggles that greet Tom Cruise's hair in Rain Man.

I am trying to think of a movie with a female protagonist in which the boy is not a cretin. I am failing. Unstable math girl deserved better.

Watching Gwyneth Paltrow wander around the snowy Northwestern campus brought back a lot of memories. Bad memories. Gah, why did I go there.

One recurring bit in this movie that hit home was the various characters worrying about their creative periods being over around the age of 26. Pretty much all I have to show for myself this year is Wikipedia Brown. Maybe I need to stop watching movies. Or get to work on Danny Dunn and the Intel Core 2 Duo Homework Machine.

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