My negative review of this film may have something to do with the fact that I'm recovering from knee surgery and on some pretty good painkillers, but honestly, I don't think that's the case.
Gus van Sant movies, I realized, are very hit or miss for me, mostly miss. I think To Die For is brilliant, and I really liked Gerry, but I hated Elephant and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and wasn't particularly impressed with Good Will Hunting. I have no idea why people think that My Own Private Idaho is a good movie. Is it just that people thought that it was really edgy for portraying male hookers, gay sex and drug use? Because the movie is so fucking boring that I was tempted to fast forward through large parts. River Phoenix does a decent job with the acting, but Keanu Reeves is godawful. The plot is not only boring, but is also melodramatic and totally contrived. The dialogue is absolutely terrible. The conceit of the narcoleptic searching for his mother is totally uncompelling. Ultimately, I just didn't give a shit about any of the people in this movie.
I dunno, I guess it really just wasn't the movie for me.