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
I enjoyed this film for the most part, but there are a lot of problematic things I'd like to point out.
First, let's say what's good about the film. It's clever, and the characters are well rounded and quite honestly, the main character is entertaining in his own awkward way. The love interest aspect of the movie actually ends up taking a backseat to this man's somewhat depressing life, but the film never stops being a little charming. The problem, though, is that it's been advertised as a romantic comedy. It's not.
Mostly it's a sitcom in the form of a full length feature. Anyone familiar with the formula of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm will recognize the setup of many jokes and situations throughout the film (Jeff Garlin is a producer and character on CYE, so this shouldn't come as a surprise that they're very similar. Even down to the soundtrack.) My girlfriend and I picked this one up after seeing the trailer and thought it would be a funny romantic comedy. But, as I've already said, the relationship aspect to the film is only a side note. Sara Silverman's character gets maybe a total of fifteen minutes on screen, and is not anything like the trailer portrays. To make a long story short, my girlfriend fell asleep a long while before the movie ended, and I, while I thought it had it's funny moments and made a decent "indie" film about the life of a depressed overweight man, was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a stronger romantic aspect to it since that's what I was expecting. The movie in its entirety seems like Jeff Garlin's attempt to emulate the style and comedy of Curb Your Enthusiasm with a slightly more true-to-life tone. I could see this main character becoming a character in a sitcom, and part of me wonders if this wasn't some type of offshoot of a project that was originally intended to be a sitcom, or something that Garlin hoped would be well received enough for someone to give him his own show.
Six out of ten because of its charm and several funny moments, but seriously disappointed with the misleading advertising.
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