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Married couple Lee and Tim, a part-time yoga instructor and a public school physical education teacher respectively, jump at the opportunity to sit at the secluded Los Angeles Hills house of an actress acquaintance for two weeks as a mini-vacation for them and their three-year-old son, Jude. The house sit starts with an unusual event: Tim finds on the property in the wooded hills just beyond the swimming pool a gun and a bone. He believes the bone could be a human one, and that there could be a murdered dead body buried in the hills in the vicinity of where he found these items. Tim telephones the police, who tell him they can do nothing unless an actual body is found. As such, Lee convinces Tim to drop the subject. On their first weekend at the house, Lee decides to leave Tim on his own for the weekend to complete their income tax return, which he has long put off, while she and Jude go to visit among others her mother and stepfather, and her sister Squiggy and her family, neither ...Written by
Second consecutive film directed by Joe Swanberg to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, following Happy Christmas (2014). See more »
About 12:44 into the movie, Lee drives off in a gray Toyota Corolla. The model year is in the 2009-2013 range. But at 13:09 when she is pulling into a driveway, she is now driving a 2014-2016 gray Toyota Corolla. See more »
Am I a couple or am I still... a person. You know, you know, it's really... it's key to remain a person to brought something to a relationship We've been in love, man, we've been in love. What is, what is that even? Getting what you want or is it giving somebody what they want? Sacrificing, if you wanna call it that.
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Greetings again from the darkness. If one is evaluating the most misleading movie trailers of the year, this one would definitely be a contender. Rather than the carefree, laugh-a-minute, hanging with buddies, offbeat comedy it's presented to be, it's actually a rather dramatic observation piece on adult responsibilities and the changes we go through with marriage, kids, jobs, and so on. Think of it as an adult-coming-of-age weekend.
Writer/director Joe Swanberg has become a festival favorite with such previous films as Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas. He co-wrote this script with Jake Johnson, who also stars as Tim, husband to Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt). As the film begins, we quickly realize Tim and Lee are terrific parents to their young son Jude (director Swanberg's real life son), but are also a bit emotionally-strained with the whole marriage and adult responsibility thing.
A pretty amazing ensemble cast delivers a 90 minute acting seminar based not so much on plot, as two separate spousal adventures. Using a client's beautiful home as their own family retreat, Lee and Tim quickly decide to spend a weekend apart – so that Tim can finish their taxes, and Lee can hit up her parents for Jude's pre-school tuition. Of course, watching Tim work on his taxes wouldn't be much of a movie, so instead, he finds a rusty revolver, and what appears to be a human bone, in the backyard. With Lee and Jude gone, Tim invites his friends over for beer, snacks and help with the gun/bone mystery. This leads to appearances by Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Mike Birbiglia, Brie Larson and Anna Kendrick.
Lee's trip home permits quick exchanges with both of her parents (Judith Light, Sam Elliott), an ego-boosting interlude with Orlando Bloom, and a visit with old friends played by Ron Livingston and Melanie Lynskey. Ms. Lynskey's appearance seems especially fitting, as the tone of the movie is very much in line with her TV show "Togetherness" with Mark Duplass. The "tone" is related to people who aren't so much unhappy being married as they are curious as to what they are missing. These people haven't adjusted to the fact that life isn't always a party, and it's not really possible to recapture the carefree days with your old friends. Sam Rockwell's character is a stark reminder of this.
The book "Passionate Marriage" makes multiple appearances in the movie, and it's clear that the lead characters believe they are losing their self, rather than evolving. It asks the question about what is "happy", and just how crucial it is to be open to the changes life brings.
The classic song "Li'l Red Riding Hood" from Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs gets a prime spot during the film and is much more enjoyable than the slightly annoying New Age score that is overused through many scenes. This isn't really a mystery about the gun and bone, and it's not really about old friends or saving a marriage. It's mostly about coming to grips with life and taking joy in the good things like a cute little boy and a trusted partner with whom to share each day.
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