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Story | Jun 13, 2008Let's face it: The business of independent film can be quite the crapshoot. Something like "Meet Bill," for example, looks like an easily marketable piece of commodified quirk designed to catch on with a wide swath of filmgoers -- except for the always nagging fact that it isn't any good. The story of a man (Aaron Eckhart) grappling with middle-age ennui at work and at home feels done to death, as does the distracting addition of a spunky rich-kid high schooler. The film is written by Melissa Wallack, who co-directs with Bernie Goldman, and it is indicative of the perpetual wrong-footedness of "Meet Bill" that Jessica Alba is cast as a lingerie salesgirl (makes sense, so far), but the inevitable dressing-room scene awkwardly puts a boy in a garter belt. Whether by original design or some desperate late-stage editing-room ploy, the film doesn't reach a narrative conclusion so much as simply collapse in on itself. Resolving nothing, the ending is a cause for internal conflict in viewers, as it's deeply unsatisfying with regard to storytelling but provides a huge relief that the painful "Meet Bill" is at least over.