Monday, February 22, 2010

The Daytrippers (1996)

Surprisingly human, well-acted comedy about a woman who's suspicious of her husband's fidelity, and unwittingly assigns her family to help clarify the situation. Hope Davis plays the woman, a loyal and loving wife who finds a love note, presumably written to her husband, Stanley Tucci, and, while not making any assumptions, takes it to her mother, played by Anne Meara, who treats it as a call to arms. She gets the whole family, including her daughter and son-in-law (Parker Posey and Liev Schreiber), into a car and heads to the city from NJ to tail Tucci until he slips up. The problems that ensue are typically more dramatic and real than one would expect, with the relationships between the family members feeling very inexplicably strained and genuine. Meara, Jerry Stiller's wife and partner-in-crime, nearly steals the film with her overbearing, self-righteous mother, who has enslaved her children with her care and cannot see her fault in their problems. Davis, Posey, Schreiber, and Tucci, along with Campbell Scott as a playboy after both sisters, are all top-notch here, particularly Schreiber, who makes his elitist, aristocracy-supporting gen-xer more than the cliched faux-intellectual many other actors would portray. The relationships are complicated and nuanced, and allowed to get ugly and unlike director Greg Mattola's other works, Adventureland and Superbad.

Recommended for fans of '90s indie comedies, the cast, or Greg Mattola, as this is his strongest and most human work. Great for late night or romantic viewings.

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