For Walter Himmelstein, a young man endearingly known as Putzel, life literally doesn't go beyond his family's fish store on the upper west side of Manhattan. In this heartwarming romantic ...
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For Walter Himmelstein, a young man endearingly known as Putzel, life literally doesn't go beyond his family's fish store on the upper west side of Manhattan. In this heartwarming romantic comedy about sex, love and smoked fish, Walter's aspirations of taking over his uncle's fish emporium are disrupted by the arrival of Sally, who becomes romantically involved with his about-to-retire and very-married uncle. While Walter tries to thwart their romance in order to ensure his taking over the business, he finds his circumscribed life thrown off kilter, and, after years of being undermined by his family and friends, finally starts to realize that he's more than a Putzel.Written by
At times farcical, at times whimsical, PUTZEL is always true to itself. Walter (Jack Carpenter) is a young man grappling with his future. Paralyzed by both a familial legacy and his own neurosis, he struggles to achieve security and a clear path to happiness. Sally (Melanie Lynskey) presents an attractive yet thorny alternative to those expectations - but at a cost. In the end, freedom will come if only if he is able to - forgive me for this - swim against the tide. John Pankow's performance as the uncle continues to deepen in my memory. New York's Upper West Side gives an uncredited major performance. All principles are well cast but the secondary roles - Armando Riesco, Adrian Martinez, Jarleth Conroly, Steve Park - are delightful and nearly flawless. (A hilarious scene with Fred Berman will have to be kept hidden from his family.) Hard to believe it was shot on such a low budget. Definitely worth checking out - a modest gem.
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