An interesting film about the compromises a man makes to earn enough money to keep his wife happy, while balancing an affair he has with his boss. He leaves the recording industry, ends up landing a job at a supermarket chain working as a statistician and passes on a job as a Vice President because he doesn’t want the responsibility. But then his new boss, cerebral, neurotic, and high powered, ends up using his talents to advance her own career so she can move out to L.A., you know, because no one wants to live in Long Island.
What isn’t clear, is why this couple left the city to live on Long Island in the first place. A loose usage of the term Long Island is used here, and we have to assume that he is either living in Nassau or Suffolk, two counties that are part of the NYC metro area, as opposed to Brooklyn or Queens. But then again this isn’t a movie about NYC, this is a typical “New Jersey” movie about the compromises of suburban life. He goes back into the city to hook up with friends from the music industry he left behind in attempts to build an independent label, but his wife isn’t hearing that.
If there were ever a film about emasculation this is it. Parts of this film remind you of Juno, where a man who would have been a real musician ends up writing jingles to pay the bills, but is forever reminiscing about what life in a band would be like. This joker not only leaves the music industry for the supermarket industry, he isn’t making a whole lot of money to begin with, and though his boss doubles his wage, it is only to set up him to sleep with him. The fool sleeps with his boss with the intent of impregnating her, but impregnates his wife instead.
It isn’t really clear how his boss seduces him in the first place, and doesn’t seem very realistic. Comes across as more of a power struggle than anything else. If you’re a fan of Parker Posy, you’ll probably love this film. It is worth watching for that reason alone. But it isn’t the type of film you’ll watch again and again, because it tries really hard to come across as a dark comedy, and I am not entirely sure that it is. Parker Posy isn’t quite as funny as she is meant to be, relying on over the top obnoxious dark humor that is reminiscent of Charlize Theron’s efforts in Young Adult, which were just disturbing. Interesting comedy about suburbia lacking the depth of better films on the subject.
The real irony, is how the film loosely posits the idea of how its characters prefer one suburban area (Long Island) to another (Los Angeles). Even though everyone ends up in L.A. at the end of the film, it is still a suburban environment, just in a different metropolitan area. A more interesting take would have seen our characters moving into New York City; though this also would have been a predictable take with fewer surprises, it does a better job of illustrating suburban angst than L.A. does. It could be that suburbia either wasn’t an issue in the first place, or that is a backdrop used to talk about deeper issues, which is the mid-life crisis everyone is having where one tends to blame external factors like suburbia and the inner city for their issues. Even San Francisco would have been interesting, or the traditional Chicago cop out. On a deeper note, the film is just filler to highly the comedic idiosyncrasies of Parker Posey, of which you can arrive at your own conclusions, and perhaps not much of a film at all …