The Puffy Chair

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Now, I am always a sucker for indie films, but I must say that this movie was a disappointment. Luckily, I didn't waste the entire 2 hours of my life, as I decided to turn the movie off when one of the brothers decided he was going to marry a woman he had just met 4 hours before.

According to Netflix, The Puffy Chair is about this: "When Josh (Mark Duplass, whose brother Jay directs) finds the perfect birthday present for his father, he decides to deliver it in person. But with his high-maintenance girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) and granola brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) along for the ride, Josh's simple road trip turns into a much bigger journey than anyone anticipated."

The downfall of this film was the protagonist. I just could not relate to him. Don't get me wrong. I don't have to relate to all protagonists in order to enjoy a film, but I do have to feel something for him/her. This guy had no emotion. When his girlfriend yanked the tablecloth and all the dishes that were on it to the floor in a fit of rage, Josh just sits there. His words seem dumbstruck, but his face doesn't. When he tries to cheat the motel owner out of her ten dollars, all I could think of was "what a bastard" and "what a slim ball." When he decides to look for dirt on the puffy chair salesman rather than confront him about the matter, all I could think was "coward" and "idiot." There are characters that you are suppose to love to hate, but Josh is not even close. His character is someone whose existence is so aggravating that you can't even appreciate some of the better scenes because he's made you irritated. Could it be the acting or the writing? Both? Anything is possible.

Shot mostly with a handheld camera, this film tries to simulate reality with its cinema verite shots. It thinks that making the film look like a documentary will make it look artsy and professional. All it really accomplishes is making the 'comedic scenes' look dumb and the emotional scenes bland. This film is one with The Simple Life, scripted fiction that attempts to pass as a commentary on real life.

Sorry Duplass brothers, your omage to Say Anything did not win me over. Next time, try to not be consumed with indie film cliches, then maybe we'll talk.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 12:51 AM  

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