Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Puffy Chair

Title: The Puffy Chair
Distributor: Roadside Attractions/Cinesite/Netflix
Director: Jay Duplass
Where Seen: Landmark E Street Cinema, Washington DC, Summer 2006

This is another film with practically simultaneous DVD and platform theatrical release. And what makes it work is that it takes a mundane family situationt to create a road movie and a personality study of the lead, Josh Sagers (Mark Duplass) who can manipulate anyone into doing anything just by being himself. ("This is Josh Sagers"!) He scores 100 on the assertiveness scale. He makes a living in Brooklyn booking musicians, and one day buys a chair on Ebay to deliver to his father. He takes his girl friend and picks up his socially backward kid brother on the trip. Getting the chair re-upholstered takes major maneuvering, but the kid brother will undo everything. This is true Seinfeld-style comedy: a great film about nothing.

(Photo: a puffy chair in a Super 8 Motel room.)

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