Events after an earthquake convince Owen, a writer of hack "as told to" autobiographies, to leave L.A. He burns his bridges telling people what he really thinks, quits his current client (a... See full summary »
Do you have pets?
Oh, no. No. No, I - I have a fear of perishables. You know - pets, dairy products, produce. Anything that dies, I don't intend to, uh - not for me.
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While looking for something with Jon Hamm in it, I stumbled upon his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt's movie, Ira and Abby, and was so glad I did. While Mr. Hamm only has one line in it, the rest of the film kept me very interested in it.
Ms Westfieldt has written a wonderful comedy reminiscent of those of the last decade going back to the 20's, but even more of the sitcoms and movies of the 60's-90's. Writers like Neil Simon and Woody Allen kept us laughing at their comedies with the same wit and fast, sharp tongued dialog that Ms Westfieldt exhibits here in her film. Ever see Mad About You on TV? It's very similar in style to Ira and Abby, right down to it's Jewishness.
Ira is the epitome of the neurotic Jewish young man who can't seem to find happiness anywhere until he meets the quirky Abby and her happy, loving family who are old laid back hippies, much like the format of the TV show Darma and Greg. We just don't get great comedies like these anymore, in movies or TV. His parents are wealthy neurotic psychoanalysts in NYC, of course.
The beginning was slow for me, probably because I didn't like Chris Messina as Ira very much. Another actor would have been better in that role I believe, but no one springs to mind now and they cannot pay the big salaries that Woody Allen productions can. I hung in there hoping to see Jon Hamm and ended up hooked on it (being the lover of great wit that I am) and relished every last word and witty scene.
I loved the acting of the older, more experienced entourage with some greats like Robert Klein and Fred Willard, and the wonderful Frances Conroy. Judith Light did a great job with her part, as well as all the supporting cast of mostly seasoned veteran character actors. Jennifer really shone as the quirky girl reminiscent of Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow from Woody's movies. Jill Clayburg is another who comes to mind. They all managed the fast pace of the dialog under the masterful direction of David Clary who kept things moving at a quick pace and pulled good performances from everyone, but mainly Jennifer who was one of the least experienced actors in it.
I will have to rent Jennifer's other movies to see if they are as enjoyable this one; I have only seen snippets of Kissing Jessica Stein, but based on those I think I will prefer this movie more.
I think Jennifer has a great career in writing once she finds her own style. She has done a great job here and I look forward to the films in her future. Woody won't be around forever and we will need a replacement. I recommend this film to anyone who loves Woody Allen movies, especially the older ones.
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