An actor prepping for an upcoming role meets a quirky grocery clerk, and together they hit the road to show each other their respective worlds.An actor prepping for an upcoming role meets a quirky grocery clerk, and together they hit the road to show each other their respective worlds.An actor prepping for an upcoming role meets a quirky grocery clerk, and together they hit the road to show each other their respective worlds.
Out of work for a few years, he is embarrassed when he sees DVDs of his films in the bargain bin, but his ego is such that he does not lack the temerity to watch and even mimic the enervated store staff. Of particular fascination to him is Scarlet, an embittered worker from Spain and relegated to the express line where she is the unsung model of efficiency. She has an interview for a secretarial job at a construction company, but her deep-seeded insecurity seems to defeat her chances already. Still looking like Penelope Cruz's Amazonian sister, the beautiful Vega (one of the few redeemable aspects of James L. Brooks' execrable "Spanglish") brings a stinging edge and realistic vulnerability to Scarlet. She and Freeman interplay very well throughout the story, which includes stops not only at the grocery store but also at Target, Arby's and a full-service carwash. Nothing earth-shattering happens except to show how two people realize the resonating transience of chance encounters.
Silberling keeps the proceedings simple, but the production also reflects expert craftsmanship in Phedon Papamichael's vibrant cinematography (he lensed Alexander Payne's "Sideways") and the infectious score by Brazilian composer Antonio Pinto ("City of God"). There are fast cameos by Bobby Cannavale (as Scarlet's soon-to-be-ex-husband) and as themselves, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, as well as a funny bits with Jonah Hill ("Knocked Up") as the clueless driver and Jim Parsons (the "knight" in "Garden State") as a worshipful receptionist. The 2007 DVD is overstuffed with extras, including a making-of documentary, "15 Days or Less", aimed at film students and running a marathon 103 minutes; six extended scenes; a light-hearted but insightful three-way conversation between Silberling, Freeman and Vega in the middle of Target; and a couple of snippets that specifically advertise the DVD.
- Jul 24, 2007