With The Shape of Things, filmmaker Neil LaBute returns to his earlier status as a "nasty piece of work." After taking a moral hiatus to direct the uneven black comedy Nurse Betty (2000) and the dreary love story Possession (2002), he is back to the severe old tricks he exhibited in his first two films, the upsetting but challenging In the Company of Men (1997) and the less successful Your Friends and Neighbors (1998), where he exposed the underbelly of men's emotions and insecurities, especially in the ongoing and always escalating battle of the sexes.
The Shape of Things originated as a 2001 play which LaBute wrote and directed. He admits the play was a partial response to the charge that he had portrayed men as cruel and heartless in their pursuit of sex and control. LaBute wanted to show that women could be just as insensitive, but with a twist.
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