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Worth A Look: 38.89%
Just Average: 11.11%
Pretty Crappy: 5.56%
Sucks: 0%

2 reviews, 6 user ratings

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I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
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by Peter Sobczynski

"No Need To Curb Any Enthusiasm For Garlin's Directorial Debut"
4 stars

One of the running jokes in “I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With,” a comedy that marks the writing and directing debut of comedian Jeff Garlin, is the idea that someone in Hollywood has gotten the bright idea of doing a contemporary version of “Marty,” the Oscar-winning Paddy Chayefsky drama that manifestly needs no such thing to be done to it. The first irony is Garlin’s film is essentially that very same thing–a contemporary riff on “Marty” with the main difference being that it leans more towards humor than pathos. The second irony is that the idea, at least as seen through Garlin’s eyes, turns out to be a pretty good one after and while it may not exactly conform to what many people might expect to see from a current-day romantic comedy, it is one of the more satisfying examples of the genre to come along in recent months.

Garlin plays James Aaron, a Chicago-based actor whose personal and professional lives are currently in a downward spiral. Pushing 40, he is single and still living at home with his mom (Mina Kolb), his career is now reduced to the occasional Second City performance and appearing as a stooge on an exceptionally sadistic reality prank show and he so often drowns his sorrows in junk food that the owner of his preferred Quick-E Mart (Dan Castellaneta) is beginning to have second thoughts about selling it to him. Things begin to look up when he inadvertently makes the acquaintance of a sexy and sassy ice cream parlor worker (Sarah Silverman) who plies him with frozen confections and dirty talk (such as her explanation of a “hoagie shack”) in such a way that he immediately becomes besotted with her. On a professional level, James is also sort of inspired when he learns that someone is doing a remake of “Marty”–on the one hand, he considers the very idea to be an abomination but on the other, he knows that if they must remake it, he would be the perfect guy to star in it. Although neither one of these ambitions quite pan out in the expected ways, they do at least have the salutary effect of blasting James out of his rut and pointing him in the right direction for the first time in a while.

Because the film features a lot of Garlin’s friends and fellow comedians in the supporting cast (including the likes of Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Tim Kazurinsky, Wallace Langham, Joey Slotnick and Paul Mazursky) and because he is best known for his appearances on the improv-based HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” you might assume that it is essentially a loosely connected series of scenes in which Garlin and his buddies improv in front of the camera for their own personal amusement. That is the kind of film I was expecting and I was surprised to discover that it is actually a far more solidly constructed work than that. Yes, it is very funny at times (I especially love the series of events that begins with James wondering why a restaurant has a man in a pirate outfit offering samples of hot dogs and ends with him donning it himself while never quite getting an answer to his question) but there is a surprising level of poignancy as well in the way that James’ personal and professional trials develop over the course of the film. The performances are also refreshingly grounded in reality–Garlin is equally adept at comedy and pathos without overdoing either and Silverman does a good job of channeling her outrageous comedic persona within the parameters of a believable human being.

“I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With” has been making the festival rounds for a while and therefore, it is somewhat ironic that it is opening in Chicago on the very same weekend that most of the city will be preoccupied with the sight of the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs just a couple of blocks away from where it is playing. When I interviewed Garlin a few days ago, he seemed resigned to the fact that few people would presumably be attending the screenings on game days. Personally, I think that he is underestimating the appeal of his film in this regard. If the Cubs win, people will be in a good mood and watching it will help to keep those feelings going strong. If the unthinkable occurs, on the other hand, there will be thousands and thousands of dejected fans in instant need of comic relief and this low-key charmer will go a long way towards doing just that.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14444&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/05/07 00:13:17
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/31/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess A lot of the quirkiness seems a bit force, but there are some funny moments 3 stars
12/20/07 Ole Man Bourbon Forgettable, but entertaining. Woody Allen/Larry David fans will like it. 4 stars
5/17/06 Erin i thought i was going to love it, but it seemed quirky just for the sake of being quirky. 2 stars
5/04/06 Joe M This is a "Guy Flick" There aren't many moments that a guy can't relate to in this movie. 5 stars
5/01/06 jodi nagel I loved the movie. Hoagie Shack is brilliant and the scene when he came back and all he cou 5 stars
4/27/06 Liz Seemed like it would be really good, then fizzled. 3 stars
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  DVD: 15-Apr-2008



Directed by
  Jeff Garlin

Written by
  Jeff Garlin

  Jeff Garlin
  Sarah Silverman
  Bonnie Hunt
  David Pasquesi
  Mina Kolb

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