The gaga, low-budget DV drama Sorry, Haters proposes that Phoebe (Robin Wright Penn), an American music-video TV staffer in melting-pot New York City, would go out of her way to involve Ashade (Tunisian actor-director Abdellatif Kechiche), a Syrian-born Muslim NYC taxi driver, in a paranoid payback fantasy shaken loose in the troubled woman’s mind following the catastrophe of 9/11. Ashade’s fault is that he happens to pick up Phoebe as a customer. (He’s got enough problems: His brother is imprisoned at Guantánamo.) Phoebe’s fault is that she’s mad as a hatter, a condition that first presents itself when she demands that the driver schlepp her out to New Jersey so she can stalk some guy. Before long, the chick has ruined Ashade’s life, in a climax of outrageous proportions.
That Penn and Kechiche are so committed to their roles only makes writer-director Jeff Stanzler’s film more of a conundrum. The movie is cross-eyed with fuzzy thinking; it’s also an interesting, if wacko, artistic response to world events. Sorry as Sorry, Haters is, I don’t think its preposterousness is a complete dealbreaker.