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Overall Rating
4.17

Awesome42.55%
Worth A Look42.55%
Average: 8.51%
Pretty Bad: 2.13%
Total Crap: 4.26%

4 reviews, 23 user ratings


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Puffy Chair, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"Sometimes the destination is just as important as the journey"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL: The Duplass brothers' debut movie played to appreciative audiences at the Sundance Film Festival a few months back. Unfortunately I must have been off seeing something else, so I kicked myself for missing the flick. So imagine my relief when I saw that it would also be playing down at SXSW. Jay & Mark are sincerely cool guys, so I felt bad sharing beers with the chaps without having at least SEEN their movie. I was about to sit down to watch "The Education of Shelby Knox" when a friend reminded me that "The Puffy Chair" was about to start screening at a different venue. Seven blocks and 3.8 minutes later, I was part of an all-new appreciative crowd.

If you go solely by Hollywood fare, there are really only two sorts of comedy: bland romantic comedy...and fart jokes. Fortunately there are some indie filmmakers out there who've been raised on the works of Albert Brooks, Woody Allen, and James L. Brooks. Yes, those were the filmmakers that came to mind as I watched (and seriously enjoyed) The Puffy Chair. Clearly that's a pretty flattering comparison, but then...this is a pretty damn good movie.

Josh and Emily are a sweet little couple; they're good-looking, they're witty, and they're clearly pretty enamored with one another. To celebrate the birthday of his father, Josh has a plan: he aims to drive cross-country to pick up a fluffy purple recliner that he bought on eBay and drop it off to dear old Dad just in time for his birthday.

Let's just say that things don't exactly go as planned. First, Emily kind of guilts Josh into inviting her along for the road trip. OK, she's a really cool gal, so that doesn't create much of a problem. But after Josh and Emily stop over to visit Josh's quietly insane brother, Rhett, the duo becomes a trio and the insanity is just getting started: their travels lead to a seriously embarrassing visit to a roadside motel, a few confrontations with shady furniture salesmen (and upholsterers), and there's even an impromptu wedding!

The three leads might be newcomers, but each one delivers a quietly fantastic performance. As Josh, Mark Duplass brings an easygoing goofiness and everyman's charm to the central role. Kathryn Aselton inhabits Emily with all sorts of foibles and insecurities, but deep down she's quite the lovable gal. And Rhett Jordan (as, not surprisingly, Rhett) steals huge chunks of the movie for himself and runs off giggling. Rhett's sort of a new-age hippie weirdo-type, but Jordan also brings a welcome vibe of sweet-natured innocence. Plus he's really, really funny in that "soft-spoken, dry & droll" sort of way.

"The Puffy Chair" might have been produced for the cost of one day's catering on something like "Spider-Man 2," but the sincere movie geeks out there really don't care how much a movie costs. They care how much it WORKS, and "The Puffy Chair" works alarmingly well. It's disarmingly sweet and consistently funny; it's insightful, unpredictable and poignant; and it clearly comes from someone's real-life experience. "The Puffy Chair" has a lot more soul, wit and truth that most of what passes for comedy these days, plus it's a road trip, a rom-com, and a dialogue-driven slice-of-life at the same time. As trite as it might sound, I eagerly look forward to whatever the Duplass boys come up with next.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11279&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/19/05 07:54:44
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 BendFilm Festival For more in the 2005 BendFilm Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Chicago Film Festival For more in the 2005 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2006 Florida Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Independent Film Festival of Boston For more in the 2006 Independent Film Festival of Boston series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Deep Focus Film Fest For more in the 2006 Deep Focus Film Fest series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2006 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/01/10 User Name Moderatly entertaining indy made on less than a shoestring budget. 3 stars
7/29/07 adrian It had its ups and downs it really depicts how much relationship can hurt it was great. 5 stars
2/26/07 Ronnie Its boring, random and realistic 3 stars
2/24/07 Adam this movie very subtly exploded my head. 5 stars
2/13/07 Holger Hansen bad acting, painfully slow, story goes nowhere, 2 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Rather slight, and slightly overrated, relationship dramedy is decent enough to enjoy. 3 stars
6/15/06 Anthony this movie sucked 1 stars
6/06/06 CB younger brother Rhett stole the show in my opinion 5 stars
7/21/05 Therese Fitzpatrick a good movie: i esp. loved all the casual profanity, which is how peops in my world talk 4 stars
6/29/05 Susan Buice My favorite film of the year. 5 stars
6/22/05 Film lover Sweet, honest, endearing... I loved this film. 5 stars
4/07/05 Elizabeth Ricker Hilarious 5 stars
3/18/05 bp Hilarious, painful, inventive - the Duplass Bros are a force! 5 stars
3/17/05 Steve K Very well acted 5 stars
2/24/05 Fat Jack Hits too close to home for Vivki W. See it anyway. 4 stars
2/04/05 Sasha rockin!!! 5 stars
2/02/05 Jack Nasch Very very entertaining 5 stars
2/01/05 todd barnes amazing performances and directing!! 5 stars
1/30/05 Justin Great movie, fantastic performances. 5 stars
1/29/05 Annie so so 3 stars
1/29/05 wanda hey, it's reality behind closed doors 5 stars
1/28/05 vicki w ughhhh 1 stars
12/18/04 Rhett Wilkins This is a wonderfully delightful film and the performances are absolutely phenomenal :) 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Jun-2006 (R)
  DVD: 29-Sep-2009

UK
  N/A

Australia
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Directed by
  Jay Duplass

Written by
  Mark Duplass

Cast
  Mark Duplass
  Kathryn Aselton
  Rhett Wilkins
  Baru Dahan
  Gerald Finnegan
  Julie Fischer



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