Stranger Says:Gillian Robespierre, writer-director of Obvious Child, reunites with Jenny Slate for this serio-comic take on secrets and lies in Giuliani-era Manhattan. Frustrated adman Alan (John Turturro) is keeping something from hypercritical wife Pat (Edie Falco), engaged daughter Dana (Slate) can't resist a man from her past, and teen sister Ali (Abby Quinn) is sneaking out to go clubbing. True, they're normal middle-class problems, but Robespierre has a knack for embarrassingly salty dialogue, and Slate and Quinn are perfectly cast as sisters straining against the yoke of expectations. These two elements come together to make a very satisfying movie experience.
SIFF Says:Director Gillian Robespierre and comedian/star Jenny Slate are at it again, but this time they’re stuck in 1995 Manhattan: smoky bars, no cell phones, and complete family meltdowns. As eldest daughter Dana, played by the endlessly funny Slate (My Blind Brother), prepares to enter married life with fiancé Ben (Jay Duplass, Manson Family Vacation), a wild streak begins. Meanwhile, her high-school-age sister Ali, played by newcomer Abby Quinn, lives a secret life of sex, drugs, and clubbing. When the sisters discover love letters their father has been writing to a mystery woman, the pair team up to expose his affair while keeping their mother out of the know. In Robespierre’s follow-up to SIFF 2014 hit Obvious Child, she again creates a subversive comedy that explores how families grow stronger when forced to deal with their problems. John Turturro and Edie Falco co-star as the daughter’s unraveling parents in this ’90s nostalgia piece that provides constant reminders of the era, including references to then-style icon Hillary Clinton and brick-and-mortar record stores. Landline’s portrayal of sibling rivalry, parental errors, and self-indulgent characters all add up to an honest portrait of a painfully flawed family.
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