any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
The Daytrippers 1995
Directed + written by: Greg
Starring: Hope Davis, Pat McNamara, Anne Meara, Parker Posey,
Look for it at the video store under:
Watch it when you’re in the mood
The critic says:
5 the rating system
Fun factor: ½/5
Eliza and Louis have a solid,
happy marriage – or so she thinks, until the morning after
Thanksgiving, when she suddenly realizes she might not know her husband
as well as she thinks she does. Eliza’s cheerfully picking up the
house, just after her husband’s kissed her good-bye and left for work.
While tidying up in their bedroom, Eliza stumbles across a note that’s
fallen down next to the dresser. It sounds like a love letter, and the
only thing she knows about it is that it’s not written for her
or by her. Stunned at the discovery and too shocked to know how
to deal with it alone, she drives on over to her parents’ house, to
ask her mom for some much-needed advice. Her sister Jo and Jo’s
boyfriend Carl are home for the holidays, and along with Mom and Dad,
getting ready to make a little trip into the city. And since Louis works
in the city, Mom suggests that Eliza join them, so that she can get an
explanation from Louis in person (telephones, Mom reasons, make it too
easy for a person to lie). This, then, is how the whole family ends up
packed into a clunky wood-paneled station wagon on a cold winter’s
day, making their way from the suburbs into Manhattan, and thus turning
Eliza’s search for the truth about her husband into a group endeavor.
But on their scavenger hunt for clues, the family ends up learning as
much about Louis as they do about each other – and how they really
feel about one another as a family.
For the vast majority of The Daytrippers,
nothing really happens: it’s a slow talky movie that doesn’t care
much about plot or visuals to tell its story. Eliza frets, Jo jokes,
Carl bores everyone in the car to tears with his intellectual
pretensions, Mom pokes her nose in where it doesn’t belong, and Dad
tries desperately to ignore all the chaos while navigating the vehicle.
It’s a family doing their best to pretend they don’t actually drive
each other nuts, a dysfunctional family in denial of its flaws. You can
feel the tension slowly building, even when you’re laughing at each of
the family member’s little idiosyncracies. The characters are each so
well-realized in their peculiarities, and hilariously reminiscent of
people you probably know in real life, that you can’t help but be a
little charmed by them even when they’re being terribly, obliviously,
annoying – the entire cast is sublimely good, from Anne Meara as the
overbearing Mom, to Pat McNamara as the Dad who refuses to get involved,
to Liev Schreiber as the pseudo-intellectual boyfriend, and most
especially Hope Davis as Eliza, in whose expressive face you really
understand that the laughter and jokes actually hide deeper, darker
emotions. The emotional drama lurking beneath the surface of normal,
amusing, family squabbling is so subtle that when Eliza finally does
discover her husband’s little secret, and both the resulting
revelation and the accumulated stresses of a day spent trapped in a cold
vehicle together, cause the family’s façade of civility to finally
erupt, it’s like a little kick in the stomach – both to us, the
viewers, and to each of the family members themselves. The
Daytrippers proves that sometimes, good comedy comes out of sad
truths. —reviewed by
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