Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Movie Review: I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With

I know Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I didn't like that show at first but then it really grew on me and I liked it a lot for several seasons. However the first two episodes of this season have been horrible. Almost completely unfunny. When I saw Garlin wrote, directed and stars in I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With I figured maybe he was concentrating on the film and the TV show suffered. That doesn't seem to have been the case.

The film is an homage to Marty a classic film for which Ernest Borgnine won a Best Acting Oscar and Paddy Chayefsky won his first of three Best Writing Oscars. Marty is about a 30 something butcher who lives at home with his mother and well, looks like Ernest Borgnine. He meets an equally unglamorous teacher at a dance and in spite of the objections of his mother and friends decides to give love a try. It was a huge breakout heartwarming hit in 1955 and garnered 8 academy award nominations and 4 wins (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor).

This film is not Marty. First off it's trying to be a comedy. Instead of a butcher, Garlin plays James, a second city comedian, who's fat and living with his mother at 39. He's fired from a TV show that's Candid Camera with an unfunny cruel streak. He binges on sweets and just makes bad or almost no choices in his life. He runs into Sarah Silverman who is less annoying than she usually is but is as quirky if not crazy as ever. They might be dating but it's hard to tell, even for them.

Garlin's film is a like a series of sketch comedy ideas. Most scenes have two characters to play off of each other and is shot with a stationary camera showing both of them. In fact there are a few scenes that explicitly are about improvs. While there were some laughs there weren't enough and certainly none were huge. The biggest was probably seeing a horrible remake of Marty with Gina Gershon as the mother and 20 year old Aaron Carter as Marty saying he's fat and ugly. I was the only one in the theater that laughed at the impossibility of actors who had never heard of Paddy Chayefsky. The pieces didn't really fit together or rather didn't lead anywhere. To mention Marty and Chayefsky so often and to lack a tight plot and real character arc is just bizarre to me.

It's amusing and not horrible, but it's not worth theater prices. if I were watching it on cable without a lot of friends over I would only stay to till the end because of its short running time.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I totally agree.