Its probably the (dwindling) mathematician in me: I have always hated the phrase “Less Is More”. Without using < or > (or even ))<>(( if you know what I mean), I can happily prove that less is not more thank you very much. Perhaps what is really meant by this logical fallacy is that less is often enough, or indeed less is exactly what you want.

Broken Flowers has a very lessy performance from Bill Murray. He now seems to have realised that he is cursed with being funny, no matter what he does (this seemed to annoy him when young, just seem him the The Razor’s Edge). The only way to restrict the involuntary guffaws is to remain as still as possible. And so in Broken Flowers he remains an emotionless centre, trying not to be funny. Trying to be full of pathos.

Problem is that Jarmusch surrounds him with one dimensional funny, played on the whole by actresses who don’t do funny. So the funny characters are played by people who find comedy difficult, and the straight man is a guy who can’t help being funny. There is one scene where Bill lets rip with a sardonic look and, being about an hour of longeurs in, it comes as a massive relief. Possibly undermines the rest of the film – but never mind. It is a remarkably slight film anyway and probably not worth it for just that dinnertime scene. But it is an almost relaxingly zen experience. Less from Murray is not more, and here it is just about enough.

Do You See