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|Index||68 reviews in total|
26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Smart, funny, and ultimately affecting, 17 March 2005
Author: jharrow from United States
I saw "The Puffy Chair" at South by Southwest, and it is an excellent
film. It is genuine, thoughtful, and alternately hilarious and
melancholy. It deserves to be the new "Garden State."
The movie's premise is simple: Josh and his girlfriend Emily go on a road-trip to pick up an old puffy recliner that Josh won on ebay and bring it to his dad for his birthday. Along the way, they stop to visit brother, a well-meaning but slightly insane lover of all things - especially nature and women - who ends up tagging along. One of the funniest scenes in the movie occurs when the three attempt to stay at a motel in Virginia but only pay for one person to save ten bucks; the ridiculous scheming (which of course backfires) to save a few bucks is on par with any of George Costanza's finest moments. The exchanges between brothers remind me of my banter with my own siblings, and the relationship that Josh and Emily have feels both unique and universal. The direction and and hand-held camera work give the film a documentary feel that really works well, and the music blends well with what is going on. The director and screenwriter used their low budget to great advantage, keeping things totally authentic; eliminating the documentary-style camera and getting rid of the improvisation would have ruined the mood of the movie.
Overall, the film moves seamlessly from comedy to melancholy and from jubilant romantic beginnings to bittersweet possible endings. If you get a chance to see this flick, give it a try: it's short and sweet, but it will stay with you for a while.
31 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
P.Diddy LOVES this chair!, 9 February 2005
For a single man, the late 20's can be a very interesting and pleasant
phase of life. You still enjoy much of the freedom you had when you
were younger, but without the poverty. You've got a real job, a decent
car, and a place of your own with no roommate. You've probably even got
a few wine glasses and some framed pictures on the wall. You've figured
out how to look and act like an adult, while remaining a teenager on
the inside. In "The Puffy Chair," Josh (Mark Duplass) is just such a
guy (not a man, but a guy). He sets off on a road trip to deliver his
dad's birthday present, a purple Lazy-Boy just like one Josh remembers
from his childhood. It's clear he is looking forward to some solo time
on the road, but first his girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) and then
his brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) tag along. In true road-trip fashion
the three encounter various challenges along the way, and hash out
The dynamics between the emotionally reticent Josh and his effusive, impulsive brother are there mainly for comic relief. The main theme of "The Puffy Chair" is the tension between Josh, who is happy just being a guy and having a girlfriend, and Emily who craves at least some emotional validation if not a solid commitment. The painful, late-night "conversations" that result will be uncomfortably familiar to most. Don't be misled, though. "The Puffy Chair" deals with real feelings and relationship issues, but it is above all else a hilarious road-trip comedy.
The first full-length feature by the Duplass brothers (Mark and Jay), "The Puffy Chair" is unmistakably low-budget. I suspect the biggest budget item was the actual chair. The quality of the cinematography and lighting lies somewhere between cheap porn and after-school special. The performances, on the other hand, are very heartfelt and enjoyable. One nice independent-film touch is that Josh's parents are played by Mark Duplass's actual parents. In one pivotal scene, Mr. Duplass dispenses some of his own fatherly advice.
I caught Puffy Chair at Sundance, and I will be surprised if it hits the Cineplex any time soon. It's a delightful movie, but it doesn't have the breakout success potential of a "Napoleon Dynamite." This is more the "Brothers McMullen" of 2005. See it if you can, and keep an eye out for the next Duplass brothers effort. 4 out of 5 stars.
22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly Excellent, 29 June 2005
Author: spikejonzelover from United States
Basically, I saw this movie for no good reason. I was at the Nantucket
Film Festival (June 2005) with some friends and we only had a few days
to see the films. Unfortunately, most of the films I wanted to see were
on the last two days, which were after we were leaving. But I bought a
ticket for this little film with a funny name and we went to see it on
the second day of the festival.
Needless to say, one friend and I were completely blown away. For a movie we just saw because I liked the name of it, "The Puffy Chair" was a very fortunate random purchase, indeed.
The simple yet strangely elegant story of a man trying to get his father the perfect birthday gift and the strange events that he, his girlfriend and his tag-along brother encounter makes for an exceptional viewing experience.
Very realistic, and the pseudo-documentary-style camera work adds to the excellent script. Superb acting, especially Mark Duplass and Kathryn Aselton. In a side note - we met them at the festival and they are really nice people. Which is completely irrelevant but I just thought I'd mention that.
Anyway, "The Puffy Chair" is an extremely good film, and I highly recommend it.
12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Simple and amazing., 1 May 2007
Author: Pursual from Boston
It actually refreshing the amount of people who have totally missed the
point of this film...perhaps they have found something most of us yearn
for...that amazingly simple feeling of total and mutual infatuation.
For those of us more vulnerable, the main theme of this story will be an all too familiar one. Doubts of commitment, and about committing. That which should be simple, is suddenly a struggle for affirmation. As a guy, I totally related to poor Josh (and his cowardice). I see myself in the reasons he resorts to baby talk and humor (it avoids sincerity), the frustration he represses, and that feeling like you are the only sane person left. As for the women out there...watch this movie and then ponder this: If he is crazy about you and if hes worth being crazy about, then he will make you know it. End of story.
If you don't know it, hes either not crazy about you and doesn't have the balls to admit it, or you want someone who can show it more...move on.
Id like to believe true love is simple, and amazing, like the telling of the story of The Puffy Chair.
13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Take a seat and enjoy!, 11 February 2005
Author: MoCortez from United States
THE PUFFY CHAIR is a nostalgic journey of the heart. Mark Duplass' characters take you along this funny yet painfully true adventure of love and self discovery. The entire cast is to be commended for such natural and endearing moments. Although Julie Fischer is not a main character, her beauty and aura make her scenes glow. Mark Duplass and Kathryn Aselton play wonderfully off each other, throwing tension back and forth like a stick of dynamite. And Rhett Jordan adds harmony, playing the irresistible goofy sibling. Jay Duplass perfectly sets the film's mood and pace with some shots that took my breath away and made me ache for simpler times. I look forward to future projects by the talented Duplass Brothers but THE PUFFY CHAIR deserves to be seen by a larger audience. So go out and find it.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
We're interested, yet disinterested simultaneously, 10 July 2012
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
The Puffy Chair is often considered to be one of the pioneering films
for the mumblecore genre, a style which is often associated with no
name actors and a relatively quiet script. To me, mumblecore is a
naturalistic approach to topics that could've been taken with
unnecessary comedy or a stereotypical, kidding approach, but since they
are handled on a modest budget, they are usually taken with admirable
gratitude and soul.
The Puffy Chair, released in 2005, is a unique picture for the time, but unfortunately an unsatisfying one. It revolves around Josh (Mark Duplass, whose brother, Jay, directed the film), a twentysomething who plans to travel across the country to deliver his father a fluffy, purple reclining chair that he has longed for. He takes the trip with his needy girlfriend, Emily (Katie Aselton) and his impulsive best friend, Rhett (Rhett Wilkins), and along the way, the picture decides to explore the trio's relationship with each other, along with Josh and his parents, and many others.
For the first twenty-five minutes or so, the film is poignant, natural, and keenly avoids being indulgent to this idea of mumblecore that it seemingly erected from thin air. But for a directorial debut by the Duplass brothers (Jay serves as the main director, while his brother, Mark is uncredited), you more or less remain optimistic for what their future might hold rather than this picture.
To begin with, the characters are rather stale and just tired archetypes. The main character Josh is moderately likable, his girlfriend is very overbearing, and is best friend leaves the viewer very unsympathetic. One of the biggest challenges for this style of film is that you must make everything unassuming and subtle, yet you need to provide the viewer with enough charisma and likability so they can invest valuable emotions through the characters. From someone who has seen three of the brothers' latest efforts, Cyrus, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, and Jeff, Who Lives at Home (all of which have received a positive rating from myself), accomplish this goal successfully, while The Puffy Chair struggles to remain buoyant in a sea of difference. After a while, it resembles something of other road films, and that something is much of a muchness.
Now, the performances from the cast are capable, the script is marginally pleasing, and the directing, despite the cloying zoom tactic the brothers would continue using in their films up until present day to sort of forcefully shove style in our face, is efficiently done. It's the story and the overall lack of anything to care about that leaves the viewer empty and rather disinterested.
Starring: Mark Duplass, Kate Aselton, and Rhett Wilkins. Directed by: Jay Duplass.
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Lot of very human Moments!!, 16 December 2008
Author: ikarusprojekt from United States, Harrisburg
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There was something about this film that really did it for me. Mark Duplass and Kathryn Aselton had great chemistry! The situations weren't over the top....They felt just right. This film was very human...and what I mean by that is there was a lot of really,real stuff in this little gem.This is a MUST see for all you indie film buffs out there! I think there is something for everyone in this one!..."Puffy Chair" felt like a tag along production...It felt like a film crew tagged along with a guy and his girlfriend and his brother while on a road trip and whatever happened...Happened. There were moments when I forgot I was watching a movie. It felt as though I was right there with them..I can also relate to a lot of what happened. I am looking forward to future Duplass films!!....
11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
This film is a GEM!!!!!, 9 January 2006
Author: Hope Levy from United States
My husband and I checked this film out on Netflix and what a pleasant surprise. It's really a genius little film. The actors were so real and believable and natural. The story was so simple and poignant. You had no idea where it would go next. There were truly HILARIOUS & Brilliant moments especially the motel sequence. I loved the bond between the brothers. It showed their whole relationship perfectly. The ending was also just so very perfect and real and forced. I give this film TWO MAJOR thumbs up!!!! I hope people see this screen gem!!!! It reminded me of another independent low budget film we also LOVED called Funny Ha Ha. I look forward to seeing what else comes from these two brother filmmakers. Very Sincerely, Hope Levy
Anything but puffy, 21 February 2013
Author: Karl Self from Yurp
I couldn't sleep last night and ended up watching The Puffy Chair back to back, after starting on a few far more blockbusterish movies (such as Parental Guidance or Bachelorette) and getting bored with each after ten minutes. The Puffy Chair sucked me right in, though, and kept me watching until the early hours, although -- by all means -- nothing much happens. A twenty-something couple travels from New York to Atlanta for the birthday of the man's dad, and they pick up the idiosyncratic brother and the eponymous "Puffy Chair" -- a used La-Z-Boy recliner from eBay -- as a present. And that's it plotwise! What kept me glued to the screen was that you can never predict how the story develops (in other words, the script is fresh and original), the characters seem authentic (and therefore often even annoying), the emotions are plausible. The big question is really: Who's the culprit? Is it Josh, who's often a bit of a jerk? Or is it Emily, who often seems very egotistical? And what about Rhett, who seems to be aware of everything except how to take responsibility? There's never a clearcut answer, just a vibe. And yet the movie captivates. The Duplass brothers are simply great storytellers.
Really great for $15,000 but still not especially satisfying., 16 July 2012
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
Recently, the Duplass brothers have received quite a bit of attention
from Leonard Maltin as well as a few other critics. So, I decided to
see a few of their films. While I can easily understand SOME of the
enthusiasm, either I'm missing something or I just haven't gotten to
the right films they've made. Today I watched "True Adolescents" and
"The Puffy Chair"--both of which had a lot to like as well as a lot to
dislike. On the plus side, Mark Duplass played some very interesting
and non-traditional characters. And, fortunately, the films were NOT
forumulaic. But on the negative, the people weren't exactly likable and
the endings were incredibly unfulfilling--making me, oddly, wish they'd
been at least a bit more formulaic!
As for "The Puffy Chair", I am glad I looked at the IMDb listing before I saw the film. Because of this, I knew that they only spent $15,000 on the film--FAR LESS than even Ed Wood spent on his films--and his were absolutely terrible--and "The Puffy Chair" was certainly not a terrible film. So, at least dollar-for-dollar, it's amazing film--with better acting than you'd expect, better production values and a less crappy look than you'd expect for the amount spent. Because of this, I could ignore the shaking camera. But this doesn't mean I could ignore the plot (which, like life, didn't seem fully worked out) as well as the difficulty I felt trying to connect with them--as all three characters seemed annoying and very immature. Still, there WAS a lot of promise in this film (and "True Adolescents")--so maybe their newer stuff is just a bit better.
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