As Sy Parrish, a photo technician who becomes psychotically obsessed with a seemingly picture-perfect family, Robin Williams doesn’t tell a single joke in One Hour Photo, yet his mere appearance is a darkly comic punchline. With a shock of light blond hair and an off-white wardrobe, he suggests a walking negative. Yet Williams develops Sy into a multishaded character – a needy loner who suddenly snaps.
Like Sy, writer-director Mark Romanek (an MTV veteran) cares a little too much about making his images immaculate. The Savmart where Sy works looks more like a Pop-art museum, and the family’s snapshots are so masterfully lit that they could hang in one. The movie is designed to within an inch of its life, but it’s saved by Williams and a vivid supporting cast, especially Gary Cole as Sy’s petty-tyrant store manager (who could be an evil twin to Cole’s passive-aggressive boss in ”Office Space”). They linger in your memory long after Romanek’s eye-catching pictures have faded.