10 April 2005 | juno2030
I was fortunate enough to catch this film at the Phoenix Film Festival and I must say that I very much enjoyed it. When I asked the Director if he had attended Film School I was very much impressed that he had not. Films like these don't come from people without talent. To get a start in commercials and then produce a heart felt family comedy like this shows real range. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on what he does next. As a good indie movie should, the film is very character driven. As apposed to your average Hollywood movie, which are mostly plot driven. The Film centers on a Jewish family in New York, the Applebaum's, who have all been invited back for their fathers "suicide" party. The film is stock full of witty, quick, jabbing, dialogue. The fact the small Jewish family is obsessed with being Jewish and anyone who is Jewish grounds the unrealistic situation of a "suicide" party in reality. Director Jeff Hare does a wonderful job at pulling the characters out of the actors and bringing them to life on screen. The production design brings the sets to life with lots of attention paid to small details making the setting feel like a home that's been lived in for 40 years. The editing keeps up with the dialogue in such a way that it makes you sit on your seat wondering who's going to stab who with the next witty phrase or punch line. And when appropriate the film slows down to let the audience dive a little deeper into the meanings and motivations hidden inside these lovable characters. If you're a fan of Woody Allen or films like "As Good as it Gets" go see this film.