June 26, 2010

#084: The Puffy Chair (6/10)

It has been really hot around here lately.  I have been spending a lot of time indoors, but unfortunately I haven't been watching very many movies.   There has been so much going on in the world of sports lately that I have been keeping pretty busy with that.  In just one more week the Tour de France will be starting, which will be occupying much of my free time during the month of July.  Even if I have plenty of time to sit down and watch movies, I usually struggle making the time to write about them.  However, I will get back on schedule and post at least one review every week.
Last weekend I caught a 2005 film on Netflix Instant called The Puffy Chair.  Written and directed by the Duplass brothers and staring Mark Duplass, The Puffy Chair tells the story of a man on a quest to buy a chair as a birthday gift for his father.  Things get complicated when his high-maintenance girlfriend, and hippie brother join him for the trip.

The Puffy Chair is very much an indie film.  This distinction comes with a lot of preconceived notions of what it is going to be like.  I really enjoy the style and feel of most indie films, but I can also see how some people can be turned off by it.  While most indies try to seem "real", they can come across as really really cheesy and fake. It is quite an art to recreate an argument and make it feel genuinely sincere and emotional.  The Puffy Chair is only the second Duplass film I have seen, but these guys are awesome at bringing that "real" element to their films.  Everything feels very raw and candid.  Last year's Humpday was such an interesting movie and contained one of the most uncomfortable scenes I have ever seen in film.

I didn't have any expectations for The Puffy Chair. I was neither disappointed nor blown-away by it.  It was easy to get in to, and I could immediately identify with our main character.  It was engaging the entire way, but it is also a pretty short film.  There is a deliberate pace, but it never feels stagnate or boring.  If you aren't usually an indie fan, this is a pretty good one to try out. This one or Humpday are both very watchable and enjoyable movies.

The Duplass brothers have a film from 2008 named Baghead that I have not yet seen.  I am looking forward to checking that one out, but even more so I am excited to see this year's Cyrus.  This is the first Duplass film that will feature well-known actors, and it looks like it will be pretty great.  So, if you haven't heard of these guys, it would be worthwhile to watch some of their work.  Though I haven't seen Cyrus yet I feel pretty comfortable recommending that one to you also.  Hopefully it is as good as I anticipate. As for a rating for The Puffy Chair, I would give it a 6 out of 10.

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