Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Review: 'Peep World' Gathers A Promising Cast And Does Nothing With Them

Photo of Christopher Bell By Christopher Bell | The Playlist March 25, 2011 at 3:04AM

Word on the IFC-distributed comedy "Peep World" has been enormously quiet, even for those who scour for the latest in upcoming indies. With a cast consisting of Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Ronn Rifkin, and Lesley Ann Warren flying under the radar like this without any buzz, it can't be a good thing. Barry W. Blaustein's second foray into narrative filmmaking (his first was, and let us never forget it, "The Ringer") is devoid of what makes comedy films work, including the whole "making the audience laugh" part.
1


Word on the IFC-distributed comedy "Peep World" has been enormously quiet, even for those who scour for the latest in upcoming indies. With a cast consisting of Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Ronn Rifkin, and Lesley Ann Warren flying under the radar like this without any buzz, it can't be a good thing. Barry W. Blaustein's second foray into narrative filmmaking (his first was, and let us never forget it, "The Ringer") is devoid of what makes comedy films work, including the whole "making the audience laugh" part.

Youngest sibling Nathan (Ben Schwartz) has found success with his debut novel "Peep World," a tell-all of his dysfunctional family comprised of architect/porn-store-regular Jack (Hall), actress/model/singer/fuck-up Cheri (Silverman), and fuck-up/fuck-up Joel (Wilson). Their father (Rifkin)'s yearly birthday dinner is coming up and sparks are sure to fly thanks to the strain the popular book is having on their lives. While we see a small glimpse of the supper in the opening, the meat of the story takes place hours earlier leading up to the event.


From here we're forced to endure four jam-packed stories, all setup-heavy and drier than elephant skin. Jack is the good son, working as an architect and doing his damnedest to keep the family afloat, specifically bailing Joel out of whatever mishap he finds himself caught up in. Because of these heavy burdens, Jack frequently confides in Nathan, which only seems to make things worse considering he used his brother's uglier habits not only for his book's plot, but for its very title. Cheri spends most of her time complaining, either to the religious fanatic interested in jumping her bones or her mother (the sorely underused Warren). But really everyone's underused, the director's fork dips in too many dishes at once and spends only a few minutes with one character before cutting to the next. Nothing believable can grow from this spotty handling, and one wonders why the creative team didn't just cut the fat and focus on one of the siblings with the others in supporting roles. Even then, having two successful siblings and two that are good-for-nothings is terribly redundant, especially if they're all paper thin.

In theory, all of the actors could've pulled the mess together and provided some chuckles; instead they deliver the obvious jokes without any flare or originality. Not so convincingly, the film establishes anticipation for the inevitable dinner party, if only because everyone will finally be together and be able to play off one another's personalities. Unfortunately it's a squandered opportunity, interaction is at a minimum and chemistry is absent. At this point, Blaustein has the audacity to attempt dramatic emotion as the family bonds over the fact that their father is a cold douchebag before he nearly keels over. Sorry, but stock plot points cannot be forgiven, especially not in comedies that are bereft of any humor. Not to be too harsh, there is one funny sequence, which involves Nathan and a needle-induced erection. While this writer isn't too high brow for juvenile humor, when your movie's only legitimately amusing moment is someone in pain because his penis is too hard, you're not doing so hot.

Not only does "Peep World" not work as a comedy, but it doesn't work or feel like a movie in any sense. There's no sort of weight to it and its multi-character POVs make it feel like a mediocre television pilot. In fact the family dynamic, occasional Lewis Black narration (very obviously a favor), hand-held camera, and cued-up playful music only feel like an "Arrested Development" wannabe. Ultimately it's one of those forgettable indies that will spend its eternity as a Netflix Instant Watch, maybe thrown on when bed time beckons, but nothing more. Maybe the real joke is the fact that the director amassed this much talent and did nothing with it, but fuck was that a draining way for one person to get a laugh. [D]

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, Review, Peep World, Rainn Wilson, Michael C. Hall , Sarah Silverman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates