Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes
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“The Puffy Chair” is a family drama meets comedy meets relationship story all crammed into a road trip movie and all done on the cheap with a Hi-Def video camera. As was the case with last years “Pieces of April,” the mode of filming and storytelling doesn’t really matter and can even be enhanced by a great story and great acting. Such is the case here. As “The Puffy Chair” opens, we see goof-ball Josh (Duplass) and his sweet girlfriend Emily (Aselton) enjoying a nice farewell dinner before Josh embarks on a road trip. As the 2 engage in some of the most annoying, sickly sweet baby talk ever captured on-screen, we soon discover that below this phony surface there’s some serious tension. What better way to solve said problems? That’s right, jump into a cramped van for a cross country adventure! Josh has found a maroon recliner on Ebay and it’s just like the one his dad had growing up. The mission is, drive to the Ebay sellers house, get the recliner and bring it to Josh’s dad for his birthday. Along the way the couple picks up Josh’s Birkenstock wearing, granola chomping brother Rhett (Wilkins) who decides his gift to his dad will be to reconnect with him. Lucky dad. As you may guess, few things go as planned and one obstacle after another pops up in Josh’s quest. Each scene is a study in upping the ante in terms of what can go wrong. Yet it’s the underlying tension in the van that really makes this film click. When Josh and Emily have it out, as they do throughout the film, anyone who’s been in any kind of relationship immediately sinks in their seat with a feeling of deja-vu. The scenes feel real and both Duplass and Aselton do a great job duking it out. “The Puffy Chair” combines great original comedy and solid acting to make a fun movie. Both of the leads are spot on and Rhett Wilkens slays as an a-typical Hippie stuck in the new millennium. There’s also some great realism here that comes through in the great performances and is actually enhanced by the low-end digital video.
Posted on June 10, 2006 in Reviews by Don R. Lewis
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