Landline

In 2014, Gillian Robespierre directed a small indie film called Obvious Child, starring Jenny Slate.

And it frankly was the best thing Slate has ever done. She is in a lot of kid movies weirdly enough, along with voice roles, so those rarely are anything noteworthy. And then on the other end of the spectrum, she can be in these raunchy/annoying roles that make you remember her, but usually in a negative way.

Obvious Child was a nice balance between outspoken and notable in a good way.

So I was excited to hear that the pair had teamed up for a new movie, Landline, not at all related, but hey the same director and same star.

Boys Room
And hardcore tobacco use in a bathroom. Is this what Mötley Crüe was talking about?

Dana (Slate) is an adult, working a job, and living with her fiance, Ben (Jay Duplass), who is a bit boring. And by that I mean their life is routine, their sex doesn’t lead to climax, and every time they try to spice things up it goes wrong. Her younger sister, Ali (Abby Quinn) is almost graduating from high school and thinking about colleges. She is super smart, but she is getting into dumb positions and working with drugs, putting a strain on her future.

But we are really here to talk about their parents. Alan (John Turturro) and Pat (Edie Falco), who are going through weird times. Turns out that Alan might be cheating on Pat, thanks to Ali finding a disk with some erotic poems to a mysterious C. Oh yeah, I mean floppy disk, because this takes place in the mid-90’s.

While that is going on, Dana separates from her fiance temporarily to find herself, which she does in the arms of a friend from long ago, Nate (Finn Wittrock). Oh boy, time for everyone to have panic attacks about their lives and question all of their relationships!

Also starring Raffaella Meloni as “C”.

Hibachi
The face you make when you realize your dad was actually cheating with the hibachi chef the whole time.

Landline is going to be remembered as one of those movies that really just fit the okay rating. It had some things happen, some notable moments, but the whole thing failed to stick with me in anyway. I don’t even have any large complaints. No one acted terribly and no character felt badly written. Everyone in the family was pretty realistic, as were their relationships and attitudes towards each other. It just didn’t resonate.

And hey, I didn’t even find Slate annoying in this film, that is a first!

I was most impressed with Turturro, he did a lot with his face and body, despite a more limited screen time than the two lead actresses.

Also the ending of the film felt wrapped up too nicely. It ruined a bit of that realistic feel and turned back into a movie, but one that didn’t match the way one would assume with the choices a few characters had made.

The good news is it wasn’t terrible, so I would be more than willing to watch another team up with Robespierre and Slate. Unlike the team up of Wahlberg and Berg.

2 out of 4.

The Quiet

Hooray! With the review of The Quiet, I finally get to have at least one review for every letter of the alphabet! To be fair, I thought this movie also came out in 2007. Damn it. I just really didn’t feel like watching The Queen (it is also outside of my range).

Pretty birds
Also the stars of this movie are bit more attractive than the star of The Queen.

The movie is told from the point of view of Dot, played by Camilla Belle. Why is she so quiet? Oh because she is deaf/mute. Sucks! She can read lips though. After her dad dies she goes to live with her godparents, Martin Donovan and Edie Falco, and their daughter, Elisha Cuthbert. How handy that they are around the same age!

Well no one cares about Dot at her new school. Cheerleaders make fun of her, including a younger Katy Mixon. Yet somehow, star football player Shawn Ashmore (of course, that is all he did in his roles) develops feelings towards her.

So whats the point of the movie? Oh, just some father/daughter rape plot line. Not just a one time thing, it is implied that it has been happening for years. The mom might know about it, explaining why she is on tons of pills and a zombie (not a real zombie). But what about Dot. Does she have her own secrets? Yes. Yes she does.

Flynn uncomfortable
Flynn gets uncomfortable when incest is involved.

Turns out people are horrible, dirty things. A lot of people in private love telling Dot their secrets when she can’t read their lips. Feels good to get things off their chest to someone when they cant understand/hear/know you are talking at all. Which is good for creepy monologues.

Lot of comparisons also to Beethoven in this movie, since Dot plays the piano. Kind of weird, but the deepness they tried to convey didn’t really happen.

Overall I was interested in the story. I think the movie went on a bit too long after a big climatic part. Always a drag, when they don’t know how to end a movie really. Took a little bit to actually get going too. Typical high school scenes abundant (a dance, school lunch seating problems, snoddy cheerleaders, a biology lab involving a dissection). Obviously Camilla Belle isn’t also deaf/mute, but she did a good job “not reacting” to things around her based off of noise.

Watch? Not watch? Do what you want. I will note I really thought the cover said Eliza Dushku. I think about 30 minutes in I realized that she wasn’t coming. Whoops.

2 out of 4.