Director: Stanley Tucci
Screenwriters: David Schechter, Stanley Tucci
- 2008 Sundance Film Festival
Don and Janna are a married couple struggling to reconnect after the death of their daughter. They answer each other’s phony classified ads and begin an elaborate game of pretend on a series of blind dates, hoping that this ruse will allow them finally to talk openly about the demise of their relationship in the wake of tragedy. In playing out their various roles—such as a blind man in search of a sighted woman, a woman in search of a dance partner, and a reporter in search of an aggressive female interviewee—Don and Janna feel free to ask each other probing questions, explore the meaning of humor after calamity, and nearly fall in love. However, when their conversations can’t seem to break out of a circular pattern, never transcending the wall between them, they face the reality that perhaps overcoming heartbreak is not in the cards for them.
Although the material is sometimes dark, Stanley Tucci’s filmmaking is infused with humor, and Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are a pleasure to watch as Don and Janna. They give shaded, compelling performances as real, tragic characters attempting to fake their way through unfamiliar emotional territory.