Cutie and the Boxer is a portrait of a narcissistic couple who fell in love with the idea of “artists”, and with the mirrors that reflected their own narcissism. So enmeshed in their own narcissism that eventually all they could do was to turn their own narcissism into the subject of their art, becoming parodies of their own past without a sense of irony, frozen in time, with no objectivity about the context in which they exist, creating art that imitates art.
Cutie feels inferior to him and assumes that it’s about her talent but the film makes it abundantly clear that it’s her narcissism that’s inferior to his. The Boxer’s narcissism is so powerful that only when he is shit-faced drunk that he can break free of the tyranny of his own narcissism and see a glimpse of the reality.
I think the filmmaker too became hypnotized by the power of their narcissism, sucked into the vortex of their romanticism, unable to hold onto the rope that would have allowed him to give the film some cultural relevance. It’s unfortunate because it just encourages other narcissists to chase the mirages of themselves as artists. This world doesn’t need any more narcissists imitating artists. We need more real artists who can look at themselves and the world with a disinterested gaze.