J. Reichert in Reverse Shot described it best: “The characters’ constant behavioral irrationality makes the first half of Wild Grass a frustrating watch, but these rougher waters, in which Resnais schizophrenically navigates through genres (thriller, romance, comedy), eventually calm somewhat and the film enters into a groove where possibilities become expansive and the discontinuity becomes the subject in itself.”
Halfway through the movie, it became definitely better than Private Fears and even Not on the Lips. Maybe it’s because Resnais deviated from the novel here, allowed improvisation to shape the script, and reportedly based his humor on Curb Your Enthusiasm. It felt a hundred times more free than those previous two movies – especially over Not on the Lips, which felt like it was being performed by ancient ghosts locked in the same performance for eons (hence the fading-out as they walked offstage). Not sure that I approve of the plane crash idea, and I already know I was paying attention to some of the wrong things so will have to watch it again, but that point halfway through when I realized that the irrationality of the lead characters has spread virus-like into the rest of the movie was my most thrilling moment in theaters this year.