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Time Out New York Project: Issue #805, March 24-30, 2011
Dir. Barry W. Blaustein. 2010. N/R. 79mins. Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson.
Families are wacky! This applies doubly to the dysfunctional Meyerwitz clan, whose youngest member, Nathan (Ben Schwartz), has authored a Philip Roth–esque novel that hits a bit too close to home. It’s all true: Oldest brother Jack (Hall) is a porn-addicted pushover; sister Cheri (Silverman) is a screechily conceited bitch; and middle sibling Joel (Wilson) is a perpetual fuck-up. We get to know each of these sad sacks as they prepare to attend a 70th-birthday dinner for their monstrous — and monstrously successful — father (Ron Rifkin), who’d rather be boffing the sweet, young thing at his side than visiting with his own flesh and blood.
His desire is understandable, especially as Peep World subjects us to a series of comic situations that might kindly be called contrived. (The protracted interlude detailing Nathan’s search for a premature ejaculation cure is particularly unfunny. Note to self: Do not inject liquid Viagra into genitalia just before a book reading.) More grating is the intermittent narration track by stand-up Lewis Black, which strives to add omniscient significance to all the ill-developed silliness. Only Wilson acquits himself, finding a few insightful layers in his black-sheep stereotype and working up a sweet chemistry with Taraji P. Henson as his sassily devoted lady-friend. Good on you, Dwight Schrute.—Keith Uhlich
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