May 2008 28

Jeff Garlin writes, directs, and stars, in this subtle, sweet, and somewhat subversive comedy that finally dug its way out and into release, very limited, last year. (That sentence was ridiculous, I apologize)
The film follows James Aaron, a forty something that still lives with his mom, to keep her company not because he can’t support himself, that makes his living as a 2nd City comedian and part time actor.
Following a similar feel and style to Garlin’s biggest success, Curb Your Enthusiasm which he stars and produces, the film is focused around random conversations and a lot of walk and talk scenes. There aren’t really any set gags or bits, just a lot of funny conversations about life, relationships, and the absurd. James has awkward and interesting encounters with two separate women that cause him to have some adventure and misadventure over the course of the film. The first he meets is an elementary teacher, Stella, that he had a random occurrence with once before and has an awkward and embarrassing moment in front of her class as he speaks at career day for his friend as an “uncle” to the family. After this he then meets a soda jerk at the local ice cream parlor, Beth, which takes an active interest in pursuing him leading them to have some adventures of sorts around Chicago and in a supermarket. I will not spoil any more as the film is already a bit light at 80 minutes, but the film moves well and is full of interesting and funny conversations that are sure to entertain if your a fan of the style.
The three main actors turn in affective work with Garlin’s James being a guy you can get behind and sympathize with, while also just feeling sorry for him. Sarah Silverman plays Beth and is just a sexual being that knows exactly what she is doing as she tries and get James in the sack. Stella is played by Bonnie Hunt, who makes her scattered and weary teacher a memorable character in the short amount of time she has to work with. The cast is also sprinkled with a number of recognizable faces that turn in quick bit parts but are almost always funny.
The film’s presentation is pretty minimalist with no real tricks or cool shots with the camera, but that is fine as we are here for the dialogue and sweet story that Garlin has assembled. Garlin never lets the film drag though, as it moves right along, and it ends on a very good note.
In the end, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With is a more positive alternative to Curb Your Enthusiasm while never coming close the greatness of that show. On its own though, it is a sweet little movie that had me chuckling throughout. Definitely not for everyone, but fans of Curb or Indie comedies should check it out.


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