Director: Barry W. Blaustein
Starring: Michael C Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Ron Rifkin, Judy Greer
Running Time: 79 minutes
DVD Release Date: Out Now
‘All your family’s dirty little secrets. Now a #1 best seller ‘
Nathan Meyerwitz (Schwartz) is the youngest of 4 siblings and has written a #1 best seller exposing his family in all it’s dysfunctional glory. He has not seen any of his family since the book’s release and ensuing success and, as the family gathers for their father’s (Rifkin) 70th birthday dinner, tensions and insecurities unfurl and threaten to explode.
I had never even heard of Peep World, so when it arrived on my doorstep and I took a look at the cast, I was VERY excited. Michael C Hall (most notably of Six Feet Under and Dexter fame) is Jack, a self-employed architect and eldest of the siblings. Judy Greer (an actress I adore, usually cast as the supportive friend/girlfriend/wife and always brilliant) is his wife Laura, 7 weeks away from giving birth to their first child.
Sarah Silverman (hilarious comedienne/actress/writer who got her start on SNL) is Cheri, the only sister and a struggling, manically neurotic actress. Rainn Wilson (of the US Office TV series acclaim) rounds out the siblings and is the family screw up……well every family has it’s black sheep and he is it.
Also in the cast are Lesley Ann Warren, Kate Mara and Alicia Witt. I waited patiently for Xmas to be over so I would have a chance to sit down and watch this movie. I was expecting great things indeed!
Those great things never transpired. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.
The first thing to bother me was the voice of the Narrator. It was…..lifeless. That’s the only word I can think of to describe it. I have since discovered he is a well-known US comedian. He should stick with comedy because as a Narrator, he is lacking entirely.
The story was slow to start but this can happen during character establishment, especially when family dynamics are at the core of a movie. So I wait…..
As each story began, I had the distinct feeling I was missing something. I even paused the movie to check the cover to see if this was one of those movie-spin-off-from-a-TV-series kind of things. Nope. I was obviously just not ‘getting it’.
One of my major gripes about this movie was The Novel. Peep World itself. There were hints as to the contents of this book that had so ripped this family apart but we never got to find out what they were. Why? Here we have a movie about a family that is shattered by a book’s revelations and we never find out a single thing that was written. We see the reactions to the book, the reactions to the author, even reactions to other people’s reactions but we never have a chance to see the novel’s contents.
I am sure some would argue that this is the whole point……the script is derivative. Well perhaps but that takes away far more than it gives. Like I said previously, maybe I just didn’t ‘get it’.
There are scenes in the movie that were really very good. Poignant moments, funny moments, breakthrough moments. Unfortunately, they were never capitalised on and great actors were wasted. And all performances were great…..not a bad actor among them. Okay, except for Salvador the nurse, but his screen time was thankfully brief.
Finally we get to the birthday dinner and the pace changes. GREAT! Maybe it will have all been worth it after all. It builds and builds and builds and a few highly dramatic scenes steer us towards what may be a fantastic finale. Ummmmmm nope.
Then the movie ends. It ends so abruptly I rewind to check there hasn’t been a skip in the disc. Again nope… just like that, it ends.
So in that spirit…