Friday, January 28, 2005

Puffy Chair

★ ★ ★ I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for road trip movies. Haven taken a few road trips of my own, seeing them on the screen rekindles the excitement and adventure from my youth. Puffy Chair puts its own stamp on the genre with the tale of Josh and his girlfriend Emily going to visit Josh’s father. On the way, they plan to pick up a purple puffy chair like one they used to have in their family, which Josh has purchased on eBay. They stop to visit Josh’s brother, Rhett, and he joins in for the trip.

The movie is funniest when the focus is on Josh and Emily defining their relationship. “I want a percentage,” she demands. “What do you think is the percent chance that we’ll get married?” As anyone that has had a girlfriend will quickly realize, there is no good answer to this question.

There are more funny moments, but sometimes not enough in between them. The action needs an occasional prodding. The performances, while striving for realism, could take the professionalism up a notch. And the cinematography is clearly low-budget. Nevertheless, director Jay Duplass has crafted a distinct tonality that makes it worth the trip, although Puffy Chair is not the Garden State or Napoleon Dynamite of 2005.

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