Desmond Harrington is a versatile actor. He can go from shit roles (see Ghost Ship) to outstanding performances such as the one he puts on in Love Object. As Kenneth, a mundane and mediocre copyrighter, Harrington successfully conveys the dementia suffered by an average Joe that lets a sex doll take over his reality.
Similar to Joe Spinnell's character in Maniac, Kenneth appears to be a normal guy, dedicated to his work and with no social life to brag about to his friends. Disenchanted by his emotionless boss' (Torn) request to buddy up with a new intern (Sagemiller) on the company's largest copywriting project, and pretty much fed up with his lack of a social life, Kenneth orders a $10,000 sex doll to spice things up at home. At first, Kenneth feels slighted by the dolls cold, unwelcome demeanor and tries to get a refund. Unfortunately, "used" dolls can't be returned, and Kenneth relies on the doll's instruction manual to make the relationship between he and the rubber "Nikki" work.
All goes well for the first few days after practicing the manual's ridiculous suggestions, and Kenneth seems to be progressing nicely through life. However, after the copywriting project is a huge success, he begins to develop feelings for his new understudy at work and tries to distance himself from his synthetic significant other. But "Nikki" has other intentions for Kenneth, infiltrating his thoughts and bringing about a psychosis that she can actually control him. As Kenneth spirals out of control under the doll's influence, he begins to develop the cruelest intentions of killing his intern to rid his mind of the impure thoughts he has for her.
In a slight (and extremely funny) moment of normalcy, Kenneth realizes that the doll is the problem and takes a saw to the charming love doll in his bathtub, a la Tony Montana from Scarface. The doll's dismemberment does not guarantee Kenneth's sanity, as he remains haunted by the notion that he killed his Love Object for the sake of his new interest, the intern, and begins to resent her for it.
Love Object is a wonderful mix of thriller, black comedy and horror, offering up few scares, but plenty of hilarity, gore and intermittent mind fucks. As mentioned earlier, Harrington puts on the performance of his life, with excellent support from Melissa Sagemiller and Udo Kier, as the obsessively nosey "Larry from Three's Company" neighbor. Unfortunately, Rip Torn has been taken out of the hard edged role that we've grown to love, replaced by a mindless, emotionless drone of a boss which deteriorates the memory of his performance in Freddy Got Fingered.
The Love Object disc itself provides a decent, but standard array of features such as audio commentary, director and cast featurettes, storyboard comparison, interviews and still photo gallery.
Quite possibly one of the most entertaining and demented films to hit the shelves this year, Love Object is an excellent movie to sit down to on a Saturday night with your significant other, whether they be flesh and blood..... or a factory replica of a wet dream.