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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
Mmm. I want someone to eat cheese with.
That's what I want! That's so simple. That's perfect. Although I'd probably prefer rice pudding. I love - I'm telling you, you have no idea what you're missing. It's so good.
You wanna' come with me to buy some underwear?
I was just thinking that!
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Garlin is unquestionably a comedian's comedian and a comedian to anyone looking for a good time. His first film, which is entirely his own creation and production, tells the story of a struggling Chicago actor James Aaron with whom Jeff obviously identifies. He wonderfully juxtaposes James to Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty" and to Jackie Gleason's Poor Soul as he exposes James' dilemmas with an array of actors that in real life are Jeff's friends, many who are fellow Second City alumni.
He delightfully uses Sarah Silverman's diametrical cuteness and scathingly absurd humor to exemplify how despite common sense and talent, life's contentment can too often belie unyielding frustration. Bonnie Hunt gives an endearing performance as a romantic interest.
Don't let a simple story mislead you, the characters and conflicts are well thought out and ring true. Those that follow Garlin's career and understand that his humor is based on telling reality humorously, not necessarily creating fiction which too easily can be contrived, will appreciate his dialogue driven story.
We surely will see Garlin working much more as director and writer with other talented intelligent comedic actors who undertake the great challenge of making life funny.
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