Is Seeing Other People the pilot for a failed FOX sitcom spread out to an impossibly long 90 minutes for the big screen? All signs point to yes. The first clue is the Comic Sans Serif font used for the film’s opening title sequence. That’s the same font the creators of the The Simpsons use (director Wallace Wolodarsky used to write for the show and The Tracy Ullman Show), and the cast constitutes a roll call of current and ex-Rupert Murdoch employees: Jay Mohr (Action), Julianne Nicholson (Ally McBeal), Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) and Andy Richter (Andy Richter Controls the Universe). Hell, MadTV‘s Alex Borstein even makes a very humorous power cameo. Oh, there’s also Mimi Rogers. She appeared on The X-Files, right? These FOX associations are distracting not only because Seeing Other People is paced and shot like a lame knock-off of the two best shows on television, Arrested Development and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, but because it’s easy to be sidetracked by a film this shrill and self-involved. Ed (Mohr) and Alice (Nicholson) are going to get married, but because Alice doesn’t feel she’s lived the life of a whore, she decides that they should fuck other people. Cynical to the core, Seeing Other People wishes to connect with seven-year-itchers and their ilk. You know: anyone who’s in a fizzling relationship but is too chicken-shit to break things off, so they decide to open the relationship up as a means of easing their way out of it. Petty justifications (monogamy is a social construct) and rules (no sex with someone else inside our bedroom) ensue. Yada yada yada. Been there, done that. I’d be tempted to call Seeing Other People the most honest film of the year, except it has a way of trivializing and making a spectacle of the very spectacles its attempting to give a face to. Indeed, most of the time the filmmakers can’t decide whether they want to sympathize or make fun of their characters. Because none of this is new or provocative, what is Seeing Other People in the end but a selfish film for selfish people?
- Lantern Lane Entertainment
- 90 min
- Wallace Wolodarsky
- Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky
- Jay Mohr, Julianne Nicholson, Lauren Graham, Bryan Cranston, Josh Charles, Andy Richter, Matthew Davis, Jill Ritchie, Helen Slater
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