"The Illustrated Family Doctor"is a wry, ironic comedy about a neurotic hypochondriac having a "quarter-life crisis." While writer/director Kriv Stenders described it as very atypical for Australian films, which tend to celebrate masculinity, bringing it to the Tribeca Film Festival was like bringing coals to Newcastle. Stenders claimed in the Q & A to be particularly influenced by Jim Jarmusch, but this seemed more like "The Office" done by Woody Allen.
Samuel Johnson, who has been seen in the U.S. on "The Secret Life of Us" on cable TV, was wonderfully appealing as an Everyman who is the par excellence shlimazl (as in the shlimil is the one who spills the soup and the shlimazl is the one he spills it on).
The digs at Reader's Digest type reference and condensed books are particularly droll.
While the pacing is just too slow, it is an amusing critique of modern corporate life, similar in tone to Walter Kirn's novel "Up in the Air," with a passing resemblance to the British film "How to Get Ahead in Advertising." The production design beautifully captures the sterility of today's working and socializing environments.
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