The chronically suicidal Wilbur and his good-hearted big brother Harbour are in their thirties, when their father dies, leaving them with nothing but a worn down second-hand bookshop in Glasgow. Wilbur survives yet another suicide attempt and goes to the hospital, where he meets Horst a cynical psychologist and his empathic head nurse, Moira. Like Harbour, they believe that Wilbur needs a girlfriend. But even though women fall for Wilbur all the time, they can't get close to him. In fact, it is Harbour who falls in love when a shy and intense woman, Alice, enters the lives of the brothers. Alice lives a life in isolation with her little daughter, Mary. She supplements her job as a cleaning lady at the hospital's surgical ward, selling books that the patients have left behind. Little by little, Wilbur, Harbour and Alice become inseparable. Wilbur starts regaining his lust for life, Alice starts to come out of her shell, and Mary starts reading the thousands of books in the second-hand bookshop. Harbour has never been happier, but he carries a deep secret that threatens to surface.
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That rare thing, decency, shines out of Wilbur (Wants to Kill Himself), a wonderful and dark-humored comedy about a would-be suicide. The depressive Wilbur (Jamie Sives) is the opposite of his big-hearted brother, Harbour (Adrian Rawlins), yet he remains irresistible to women--including Harbour's new live-in girlfriend. Director Lone Scherfig uses the gray-skied Edinburgh location in much the same way she did her native Denmark in the terrific Italian for Beginners; the gloomy setting belies the vaguely magical things that might happen to the characters. Scherfig knows just how to balance different tones (and in a comedy about a suicidal man, she has to), and she's great with actors, even in small roles. Special standouts here are the beaming Rawlins and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen ( King Arthur), as a stoical, chain-smoking doctor. How nice it is to see a movie that makes you feel good without coming on all icky about it. --Robert Horton
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