Friday, 21 February 2014

I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With (2006)

"Last night I had sex for the first time in five years and I'm feeling pretty invincible"

To say I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With was a labour of love for Jeff Garlin would be an understatement.

 To say it was plain sailing getting it to screen would be an outright lie. 

In 1997 Garlin began the script determined to write, direct and star in the semi-autobiographical tale about an overweight 39 year old Chicago comedian from the Second City troupe who lives at home with his mom is unlucky in love and feels life is passing him by and on occasion is mirroring his favourite movie, Marty.

Garlin struggled to find financing for the project and it fell through twice. He famously claims it was shot in 18 days, but that those days were spread out over two years.  An intimate affair the film is cast mostly from Garlin's circle of comedian friends and familiar faces on the US circuit and on US TV, including Sarah Silverman (excellent and essentially playing herself as the kooky cute screw up who Garlin may or may not end up eating cheese with)  Amy Sedaris, Bonnie Hunt and Dan 'Homer Simpson' Castellaneta.

A sweet and slight little indie, the film occasionally resembles Curb Your Enthusiasm in that Garlin's central character seems to have no filter and is a little over obsessed with the minutiae of life, but it's a film that comes from a much more positive place than Curb despite offering a spot on representation of loneliness,  quiet desperation and an unnerving feeling that you're the odd one out in society. There are some wryly sharp observations about the vacuous inanity of today's culture; prank shows with cruel stunts passing as humour and tween idol Aaron Carter (starring as himself) being cast as Marty in a remake of the classic film, as well as some painfully honest moments depicting life in a slump and comfort eating to get by.

If you like Garlin, Curb or Sarah Silverman then obviously this is a must, but if you also like Woody Allen films, the similarly 'shy mature love'  themed Philip Seymour Hoffman film Jack Goes Boating or just bittersweet low key indie films in general then this is for you. This is my second watch, and it has grown on me.

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