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Ira & Abby

Ira & Abby

Rated:R
Studio:Magnolia
Director:Robert Cary
Cast:Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt
Genre:Film
Our Rating:

An uptight guy with moneyed parents marries a carefree girl on a whim, and culture-clash hijinks ensue as his crabbiness collides with her free spirit. Sound familiar? It should. Ira & Abby is the story arc for the entire five seasons of Dharma & Greg compressed into movie-length form. This stunning lack of originality is a disappointing reflection on the state of independent filmmaking – even more so given the presence of Fred Willard, Jason Alexander, Frances Conroy, Darrell Hammond and Robert Klein in the cast. Screenwriter – and star – Jennifer Westfeldt seems content to disappoint, beating the crazy-girl-neurotic-Jew drum through the movie’s midpoint. Then the thematic threads – deception, fidelity, emotional histories, psychotherapy – that had been almost imperceptibly developed come to the fore. By waiting so long for the film to address these issues, Westfeldt and director Robert Cary made a tactical gamble; expending so much energy on frivolous comedy runs the risk of derailing the whole affair. But somehow, Ira & Abby emerges as a multifaceted movie; the group-therapy scene that wraps it up brings those substantial themes together in a way that’s uproariously funny.

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