Lady in the Water (2006)
It's difficult to determine whether M. Night Shyamalan's films have become increasingly more ambitious or increasingly less so. With Lady in the Water, you could probably make an argument for both. However, it is almost impossible to believe that Shyamalan while making this film sincerely could think that this was going to come out as a good film.
The only noticeable useful aspect of Lady in the Water is some scattered irony and sarcasms from time to time. But despite of this, the film generally takes itself and its narrative way too seriously. With that said, it was going to be hard not to take this narrative too seriously, seeing as it has the subtleness and thematic interest of a story told by a 4-year-old. The Paul Giamatti character is the only interesting one in the film, and the massively talented character actor grazes some elements of value, but in the end, what's interesting about his Cleveland Heep is not what Shyamalan uses him for.
Instead, Lady in the Water wanders along its irrelevant story, soaked in its embarrassingly over-plotted, stunted offspring of an already clichéd fairytale. The acting ranges from thoroughly unimpressive to downright horrible (please do not look directly at Cindy Cheung while she speaks), and James Newton Howard reaches a career-high of counter-productiveness with his bloated score. Shyamalan has reached the bottom. The good thing is that it can be only upwards from here.