Jeannie decides to contact her old flame Merrill (Alex Karpovsky), who, as it happens, is studying for the bar exam. As the legal impasse sits ominously in the background, Jeannie, Merrill and Lauren search for an unseen panacea while other life-altering problems arise for each, namely that Jeannie and Merrill can’t find a relational medium between “radio silence” and “hot sex” and that Lauren might accept a position to teach English in Nairobi.
Bujalski’s talent lies in his restraint and his ear for the recognizable: he doesn’t gild his dialogue and thus his down-to-earth characters “errrmm” and “ummm” believably, like vehicles stuck in natural. When they do press on, they only do so ever-so-carefully, if not sometimes embarrassingly. This problem of communication and one’s fluctuating role among friends, partners, and family supply the subtle but sure-handed dramatic pull. Bujalski’s aims remain handheld and small-scale and he hits his bulls-eye here with a film that exudes humor, formal craft, and a steadfast commitment to utterly relatable characters—even if there remain maddening, dangling enigmas come the credits.
View the trailer below, read an interview with Bujalski here, and check out A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times.