Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Puffy ChairMark Duplass Directed by Jay Duplass
Starring Mark Duplass
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



When THE PUFFY CHAIR beckons, beware of its soft, colorful upholstery.

The movie starts out quite well. Josh (
Mark Duplass) and Emily (Kathryn Aselton) are a boyfriend-girlfriend couple having a bit of a tough time with their relationship. An argument occurs one night and in order to make up, Josh asks Emily to come along on a roadtrip to his father’s house where Josh plans to deliver a purplish LazyBoy recliner for his dad’s birthday. Emily accepts and along the way they pick up Josh’s flighty brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins), an Amish-looking fellow more in touch with other peoples’ lives than his own.

The roadtrip quickly devolves into more squabbling between Josh and Emily, as well as a bitter feeling for The Puffy Chair (it is initially very grubby and falling apart until Josh "convinces" the original owner to refurbish it). Rhett quickly ascertains that the cause of all of Emily and Josh’s problems is the LazyBoy and sets it to the torch one night ...

And that’s the last we hear of the chair, even though there are many minutes left in the film.

The big issue is that the title of the film is The Puffy Chair, when it isn’t the chair at all that takes center-stage. It is Josh and Emily’s doomed relationship and how the roadtrip seals their feelings for one another. Once the chair is destroyed, there’s never another mention of it, even though they arrive at Josh’s parents place on his father’s birthday without a gift. Josh never mentions the chair, nor does his father. There’s no connection between it and the lives of these people. So why call the movie The Puffy Chair and why isn’t there a tie-in with it at the end? Bad script.

The other annoying thing is that Mark Duplass’ brother,
Jay Duplass, is not only the director but also the cameraman (and not a very good one). Nearly every scene has a rapid zoom-in on the characters that goes grainy and out of focus before the camera’s autofocus catches up and rights itself. Initially this took on a quaint and artistic feel, but rapidly became unbearable.

The acting in the film is accessible and entertaining. All of the actors/actresses did fine jobs. But the poor production quality, stilted ending, and lack of coherency to the title caused this flick too many problems.

Click here for The Puffy Chair movie trailer!


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