Friday, February 16, 2007

The Puffy Chair

Jay Duplass | 2005 | 85 min | US

This film follows Josh as he drives across the country to deliver a chair (a puffy one) to his father for his birthday. His harpy girlfriend + hippy brother tag along. Of course, the road trip provides a few stumbling blocks, as any road trip movie does. Luckily those stumbling blocks give the gang a chance to learn about themselves + each other, as any road trip movie does.

Puffy Chair is a constant juggling act. Not on the part of the director, the writers, or the actors. Oh no. All the work is left to the viewer, constantly shifting, trying to decide which of the three main characters they dislike the least. That is a real pickle for a comedy. Our primary hero couple, Josh + Emily, argue too often + make up too often + for all the wrong reasons + GODDAMMIT JUST BREAK UP ALREADY. Hippie brother is prone to talking about 'energy' + 'connecting.' Holy shit, I wanted to punch all of them all of the time.

Strangely, the movie does have some good laughs + is ultimately satisfying. It is an amusing, light little film. It seems to dream of being more significant than it is, delivering everything with handheld realist pretensions. It works more often than it doesn't, though. Sure, the characters are all jagoffs, but at least they are recognizable + amusing jagoffs. And in a world where so few comedies actually deliver a single laugh, I'll take it.

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