GreeneStreet Films, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Touchy Feely Films,

Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, Sally Hawkins, Amy Landecker, Tatyana Richaud, Adam Phillips, Colman Domingo, Halley Feiffer, Peter Hermann, Curtiss Cook

Dennis (Paul Giamatti) is a basic thief. He was just released from 4 year in the slammer and is anxious to get back to his wife, Therese (Amy Landecker) and daughter Michi (Tatyana Richaud), but Therese has told her daughter that her father died from a horrible undefined cancer. Dennis wants to go straight but can’t find work anywhere, so he hooks up with his former partner Rene (Paul Rudd) and the two plan a trip to New York City to sell trees to make some cash. It doesn’t go too well, and the two guys soon find they love the same woman, and run into challenge after challenge just trying to survive till Christmas.

This film was just released on DVD in time for Christmas 2013. It was a nicely done tale of a couple of losers trying to something somewhat noble this year. Both would like to get out of the crime careers they have started, but it’s hard to change your ways cold turkey. The life of a tree salesman can be tough. I had the opportunity of talking to one of the guys here in LA who sets up a stand every year in the local Office Depot parking lot. The year before he hired a high school kid to stay overnight and watch the stock of trees, and the kid took off with his friends and he lost over 200 trees in one night. From then on he works the lot all day and sleeps there all night. His wife drives in to bring him meals and for 6 weeks he never leaves the parking lot. Well, being in New York City trying to do this isn’t very easy either, and they have their share of challenges. But trusting each other is hard too as they have a long history. They have a lot of adventures. This is a character made for Paul Giamatti. I’ve been a fan of his work since I first remember seeing him as Pig Virus in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts”. This is the kind of role simply made for him, and he tears into it with fervor. Paul Rudd is good in his role too, as he’s supposed to be a bit of a jerk, with a bit of a nice guy rolled into one which he also pulls off pretty well. The rest of the cast is basically there to fill up the screen, but this is really a buddy film between the Paul’s. Dark in a lot of ways, and sometimes pretty sad, but it’s a really good film. The ending kind of redeems it for us, and leaves us with a bit of cheer. This isn’t a cheery Christmas caper to entertain. This is a deep film, but very well done and quite though provoking. I am really glad I watched this, and I recommend this one. It’s a film that’s way beneath the radar, but it sure deserves some love, as it’s a very well produced story.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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