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H. Jon Benjamin
Life has its downs for James, living with his mom in Chicago at 39, an aging performer at Second City, eating and weighing too much. A woman he's been dating drops him, as does his agent, her brother. James turns down roles in local TV, roles that make him sad. Someone's remaking his favorite movie, "Marty," a role he'd love, but he doesn't even get an audition. He has a minor meltdown when talking at a grade school career day. Things look up when he meets the quirky Beth at an ice cream shop. Can James make a career for himself, move out from mom's, and find someone to eat cheese with? Or is he destined to watch Jackie Gleason and be Marty for the rest of his life? Written by
Garlin outdoes himself as writer-director-actor in his indie production about a big guy (Garlin) wandering around Chicago with an eye for every woman he sees. The laughs keep coming almost every minute. It's a somewhat dramatic and serious story about a man looking for love, but done with great comedic writing and acting. The supporting roles are also very well done and very funny and really make the movie rich.
Rose Abdoo is hysterical in her receptionist role taking you right into the mood of the rest of the film. Sara Silverman is awesome with some of the great bits she does with Jeff. Bonnie Hunt is classically great in her role. I only wish there was more of her in the film, as I think most will agree. It's certainly refreshing to see her in a tight leather outfit.
David Pasquesi was the aloof detached sidekick, and voice of reason. Mina Kolb plays Jeff's mother who he lives with. There were numerous other cameos, all of them done very well.
At the premier Jeff mentioned his inability to do more with Bonnie due to production issues. Still, it's good to leave you wanting more. I think it's that indie thing of keeping some things ambiguous to let the audience do some thinking for themselves to fill in the blanks. The wordy title should clue you in to this.
Jeff said some of the basic characters were based on his past relationships. This explains why they work so well. Real life people are always unusually colorful and makes great characters. He departs quite a bit from what you might expect, having seen Curb Your Enthusiasm and some of his other work. It's one of those break out things where an actor takes some risks to do something they maybe always wanted to do but couldn't.
I think it's noteworthy that Garlin's improv Second City background, and Hunt's for that matter, set the style here of acting being the focus of the story and the directing. It's perhaps a new innovative hybrid of improv meets indie film-making.
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