How are you with cliches?
I thought so. They grate on me, too. That's why I loved Charlie Kaufman's latest movie, "Anomalisa." It bashes cliches by smothering you with them until... the lead "Michael Stone" character, voiced by David Thewlis, escapes from the gloomy world of sound-alike puppets and into the company of the fresh-syntaxed anomaly we know as Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Michael has flown from Los Angeles to Cincinnati for the purpose of giving a motivational speech to an audience of customer service representatives. Treat them all as individuals, he'll say in the speech, even though to Michael the world is populated by conformists who all sound alike because they DO sound alike. Actor Tom Noonan supplies the words mouthed by all of the other puppet characters in the film.
Michael has a wife and kid back home -- both of whom speak as Tom Noonan does, of course -- but he's fallen out of love with them, just as he's fallen out of love with his ex-mistress, who has a drink with him early in the movie, and just as he's fallen out of love with everyone else in the world. That's true even though the world (in the person of the hotel manager who also sounds like Tom Noonan) tells him that everyone in the world is in love with Michael.
And then Michael actually finds love, or so he thinks, when he hear's Lisa's unique voice.
You'll be touched. I was, anyway.
The movie's an ode to individualism, tinged heavily with sadness over the fragility of love. Did you know that puppets can fall into and out of love? I didn't either.
Don't forget to stay through the end of the closing credits. Seems the movie was funded through Kickstarter. Movie studios need to have more faith in Charlie Kaufman. I haven't seen all his films, but I won't be missing the next one.