Directed by Seth Fisher
Starring Seth Fisher, Brian Cox, Mark Blum, Laila Robins

by Joanna Orland

Harold Blumenthal, a revered New York playright, has passed away after having a heart attack while laughing at his own joke.  His surviving brother Saul is jealous and resentful of Harold and the anger he feels has manifested itself in the form of constipation.  Saul’s non-Jewish wife Cheryl, an aging actress, is consumed by her aged appearance and low self esteem.  Saul’s neurotic son Ethan must deal with his own personal hangups, caused predominantly by his own neurosis.

With all of these Blumenthal crises on the go, it is actually Ethan, played by director Seth Fisher, who is the main protagonist of this piece.  He is so annoyingly neurotic and anal, but his self awareness is his saving grace.  Without it, he would simply be a jerk.  But as he is, he is a self-obsessed neurotic mess.  Fisher will no doubtedly find himself being compared to a certain famous neurotic Jewish writer/director/actor from New York.  These comparisons would not be unfounded.  Perhaps Fisher is the voice of the next generation of neurotic New York Jews.

While the script is solid, the characters well developed, and the film generally entertaining, it is not without its flaws.  The pace feels stunted at times with some scenes being playing out very contrivedly.  But for a debut feature, this is excellent.  A distinct voice, a solid script, interesting and lovably annoying characters, and a promising career ahead.

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