This week we discuss Fernando’s upcoming move to Tokyo, before turning out attention to the action blockbuster Snitch. We then consider the somewhat dire state of contemporary Romantic Comedies (RomComs), looking at films like Celeste And Jesse Forever and The Big Wedding. Finally, we explain our plan to add some regular reviews of recent Criterion Collection releases to the podcasts.
The Details pairs Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks as Jeff and Nealy Lang, a couple living in the withered shell of a loveless marriage, with a beautiful child, a manicured garden and all the trappings of suburban respectability. Kerry Washington and Ray Liotta play their implausibly coupled friends, Rebecca and Peter Mazzoni (yes, this is a world where all the women take their husband’s names). While there are minor but pivotal roles for Laura Linney as Lila, the Lang’s quirky and eccentric neighbour and Dennis Haysbert as Lincoln, Jeff Lang’s (terminally ill) basketball playing friend.
This could have been a dark comedy or a macabre tragedy, but in the end it’s just a mess, neither funny nor dark. The performances feel recycled; we’ve seen all the actors play the same role more convincingly in other films. All of which is surprising disappointment, since the director, Jacob Aaron Estes was behind the excellent Mean Creek (2004).