Primer: I know I'm basically going to a high-end printer and ordering 500 hand-lettered, gold-leaf-encrusted eggshell cards that say "You are cordially invited to call me an idiot" by saying this, but I have absolutely no idea:
1. What this movie was about or what happened in it.
2. Who the (apparently significant) character of "Rachel" is or what her relation to the plot or other characters are.
3. What the ending...was. I know it was supposed to be dramatic. I know the entire second half was supposed to be dramatic. I know this because they played dramatic music, and there was blood, and people with urgency in their voices. But I have no idea what happened in this movie. I wish I'd seen Primer before it came out so I could write a real review to that effect for a real magazine or somewhere because I think that would be funny. But seriously, between the actors' lack of enunciation (I kept rewinding and turning the volume all the way up, to no avail) and the dire need for someone to come in and make the script comprehensible, it was just a wasted 1.5 hours of my life. And no, it's not because I don't understand the technical jargon in the movie. If it was a good movie, you wouldn't need to. And no, I'm not going to watch it again with your nerdy cousin so he can explain it to me. Good movies do not need further explanation.
(Update: I just RottenTomatoed it, and many reviewers agreed. I especially liked James Vernier of the Boston Herald's quote:
"Being hard to understand is not the same as being smart."
(Other Update: Someone sent me this scene-by-scene explanation of the movie, and I clicked on it, and then I realized that I just don't care. But for those who do, there it is.)
The beginning is totally riveting, and then they get into all this philosophical cliche talk about how maybe life is meaningless, and then other stuff happens, and then you get to the end and you're like "So basically what you're saying, movie, is that you're totally meaningle---oooh wait! I get it! That's the point! And it sucks!"
(Also, there's a scene where the main character is talking to a colleague at the University where he's a professor, and he says something about how maybe life is just meaningless and maybe love is, too, and maybe we just make meaning for ourselves out of biological or random feelings and events, and the colleague says something like "You should publish these findings." Yes, you should publish this amazing new theory of yours that every single person has thought about every single day since they were 17 years old! Just check Livejournal first to make sure nobody else has published it in the past 4 hours along with the lyrics to a Good Charlotte song...)