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Park (2006)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  12 June 2006 (USA)
5.9
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Park takes place all in one day in a public park in Los Angeles, as 11 disaffected Angelenos find both love and loss in unexpected ways.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tank ...
Dog
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Rocker Dad
Ian Shelley ...
Boy
David Fenner ...
Ian
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Hakan Kizilocak ...
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Angela Bozarth ...
Jogger
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Storyline

It's noon at a remote foothill park in Los Angeles: April is there to commit suicide; Krysta and Dennis tryst in his car while her co-worker Ian waits in a dog-shampooing van; Dennis's wife Peg and her best friend Claire have followed Dennis and plan guerrilla warfare; and four 20-somethings from the same office are talking in a van. April seeks Ian's help (lubricant, a hose, a lighter) and he asks if he can join her; Claire and Peg trap the lovers in Dennis's car then have a heart to heart; Nathan and Babar disclose to Meredith and Cheryl that they are nudists while Meredith insists the men are gay. Disrobing and disclosures follow. Is it just another day in L.A.? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

park | van | suicide | nudist | lighter | See All (42) »

Taglines:

10 people, 5 cars, 1 day...only in L.A.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le carrefour du parc  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sheryl: What was that? It sounded like a gunshot.
Meredith: Of course it was a gunshot, this is LA. It's like background music.
See more »

Soundtracks

Closer to Fine
Written by Emily Saliers (as Emily Ann Saliers)
Performed by Indigo Girls
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A method beneath the absurd
24 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Park's sole setting is in a remote park in Los Angeles that one character calls, "the one place in LA not turned into a strip mall, a gay community, or a fast food restaurant." It's your typical park - mostly vacant, relatively plain - for walking your dog or having a simple picnic, but it is the setting for one of the most atypical lunchbreaks in film history in Park, an anthology-comedy revolving around several characters as they spend an unforgettable hour and a half with unexpected people.

The characters we focus on here are a woman trying to kill herself and failing miserably, a depressed and dateless dog groomer trying to hookup with his gorgeous foreign assistant, a serial cheater, the wife of the serial cheater spying on her husband while she has sex with the foreign dog groomer, her friend, and a quartet of aspiring nudists, all of whom emotionally broken, distant, or troubled in some way. The most recognizable actor of the bunch is William Baldwin, portraying the serial cheater with coldhearted materialism as he has sex with the dog groomer as she reads aloud the manual to his sports utility vehicle, which he seems to love more than life itself.

Baldwin's character, while easily the most unlikable of the bunch, isn't unlike those who surround him in the park on this afternoon. All of these characters, in some way, are searching for companionship and trying to lead a life with more satisfaction than they currently have. Voelker illustrates these characters in a collectively absurdist fashion, but allows this theme to carry over into all of their stories to create a central idea, instead of having numerous, unrelated characters collected on screen.

The film also benefits from the star-power of talk-show host Ricki Lake, who gives devilishly-funny leverage as the cheater's wife. In a role that could've been burdened and deluded by predictable moans and "woe is me" tears, Lake finds an unexpected blend of wackiness, sadistic intentions, and tenderness in her role.

The other character that finds himself to be very noteworthy and most interesting is Ian (David Fenner), the depressed single guy who has failed to win the heart of his extremely attractive co- worker Krysta (Izabella Miko), who goes on to have sex with Dennis. Fenner's character is likable mostly because of the relatable qualities he exercises throughout the entire film, and his struggle with trying to be a nice guy in general, which gets him nowhere, will find a way to connect with many audience members.

The bottom line is Park is about companionship through- and-through. Voelker paints a collection of unsure, vulnerable characters and finds them all wanting some sort of meaningful relationship in their life and not necessarily a romantic one. The characters on display here go to drastic measures to receive personal gratification, whether it be buying books on how to get girls to want them, sucking gas through a hose, having sex in a car, or embracing the nudist lifestyle. At the end, a relationship may not be exactly what they crave, but rather just the thought they can rely on someone and know they have their place. Even if it sounds like a ridiculous statement, there is some truth to that observation and Voelker depicts it beautifully through a picture with hilarious absurdist tendencies.

Starring: William Baldwin, Ricki Lake, Cheri Oteri, David Fenner, Izabella Miko, and Melanie Lynskey. Directed by: Kurt Voelker.


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