'Eternal Sunshine' genius makes weirder science.

Charlie Kaufman, the mastermind writer behind 'Being John Malkovich' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' makes his directorial debut with 'Synecdoche, New York,' and the results are ... interesting, at least until the decidedly odd film goes off the rails.

How to describe the surreal plot? Philip Seymour Hoffman is (Caden), a theater director in SCHENECTADY, NY who suffers an endless array of strange ailments (was his urine just brown?!) and whose "masterpiece" includes constructing a parallel world inside a giant Manhattan warehouse where performers act out his life.

The film starts off "normal" enough, then next thing we know Caden's assistant (Samantha Morton) buys a house that's perpetually on fire. A heady story about death and mortality (I think), 'Synecdoche' begins as a funny, weirdly enjoyable movie before turning just plain weird.