By Leah Rozen
March 10, 2003 12:00 PM

Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce

Any film that takes its title and much of its imagery and inspiration from poet T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” can’t be all bad. But then again, this slow, mixed-up mélange of ghost story and memory play isn’t all that good either.

Pearce, who was also memory-challenged in the far superior Memento (2001), plays a somber Australian psychiatrist who has buried his past. While visiting his rural hometown, the shrink flashes back to his fondness as an adolescent for a poetry-quoting lass who drowned. When an ethereal Bonham Carter shows up in town and jumps off a bridge, he rescues her and she starts quoting the same poem. What could it all mean? Not all that much, as it turns out. But the Australian scenery is lovely. (R)

BOTTOM LINE: Cinematic Sominex