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STUDIO: Genius Products
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 80 min
- Deleted Scene (with optional director commentary)
- Feature Commentary by Writer / Director Jeff Garlin
An overweight actor can’t find the right role or woman. The catch is…we can’t call it Marty.
Return to Me’s biggest fan
Jeff Garlin, Sarah Silverman, Richard Kind, Amy Sedaris, Roger Bart, Paul Mazursky, Gina Gershon, Aaron Carter, Joey Slotnick and Bonnie Hunt
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With is a fun film that marks a wonderful directorial debut from comedian Jeff Garlin. He knows his strengths and weaknesses, as he plays to his Borgnine stature. Taking cues from the Second City stage, Garlin shows off the comedian’s view of Chicago. A city where anything is possible, but the crushing weight of single life as a forty year old causes an enveloping sense of loneliness.
She might look like Estelle Getty, but once she gets out of those Depends…she could put Bree Olson to shame.
Jeff Garlin should’ve gone behind the camera ages ago. The romantic comedy is a tired concept that only continues to get worse with each new iteration. Somehow, Garlin manages to get blood from a stone by not trying to reinvent the wheel and examine the elderly concept through a modern lens. Garlin stars as James Aaron. Aaron is the host of a junk television show and he always feels like something’s missing from his life. He can’t lose weight, he can’t find a girl and he can’t land the perfect role.
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With succeeds based on its ability to play off the actors’ background in improvisation versus the natural nature of embarrassment. Garlin’s very likeable, so he uses Richard Kind and Sarah Silverman as his balancing act. Silverman comes close to stealing the show as the sexually unbalanced Beth. She pushes the lead’s buttons and gets him into awkward situations. Meanwhile, Garlin’s character has met Bonnie Hunt. The scenes are played so low-key with Hunt that I can’t even remember the name of her character. But, you’re led to believe that she’s going to be the Ducky of the film.
On starry night, you’ll find many fatties searching for Ditka. Don’t disturb them. They will migrate to Soldier Field on their own.
The major failure of the film is the fact that it never breaks out of its main conceit. The plodding pace and the never-ending cycle of failure wears thin on the audience. You want to see the downtrodden hero do well, but all we keep getting are scenes of nothing. The influence from Larry David shows everywhere in Garlin’s work, it’s just that Garlin doesn’t give the viewer something to follow ala David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. I hate to be that viewer that asks for a map to the characters, but Garlin threw so much onscreen in such a short amount of time.
When I revisited this film on DVD, I was impressed and dismayed at its brevity. I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With gets in and out, but leaves the audience wanting to know why. Nothing is answered, nothing is resolved and we’re left in the same place where the story began. Some might say that you should enjoy the journey and not the end result. But, if you’re walking in circles, you should earn the right to bitch about the scenery.
So, Spin City and then A Bug’s Life and now this?
Keep dreamin’ big.
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With comes to DVD from IFC Films and Genius Products with an average release. The film’s sole deleted scene comes with commentary from Garlin. It’s not that memorable and it gets explained away in the director’s feature commentary. I can’t really fault the main commentary, as Garlin felt more relaxed and able to discuss the film. But, that means he only nailed fifty percent of the supplemental material. That’s kind of lousy.
The A/V Quality is pretty impressive for an indie release. Sure, you’re not going to show off your home theater with this disc, but there’s no great problems. The transfer features a reasonable amount of haze for an independent production. There’s very little noise on the print and it ends up looking pretty sharp. The audio is a little flat, but the dialogue comes through on the front channels. Still, I would’ve liked to have some more back channel traffic.
Dear God, I just want to apologize for Daddy Day Care again. Angie Huston was going to be in it and I thought that was a good omen. How the fuck was I supposed to know? Well, fuck you! I liked Satan better anyways.
In the end, I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With is a fun film that’s not going to leave a big impression. But, it’s able to convey what it wants to share without having to bother with a quickie resolution. Take that for what you will and realize that most Curb Your Enthusiasm fans might find a common ground with Garlin’s style. That doesn’t make the film good, but it makes enjoyable. That conceit alone is something that I feel a lot of the readers need to ponder.