More Than Just A Series of Nouns
Last night we watched People, Places, Things (2015) streaming on Netflix.
This touching comedy shows that Jemaine Clement is more than just wacky humor of Flight of the Concords and witty, dry, romantic and engaging. He plays a rather sad and lonely comic book writer and artist (and professor of the craft) trying to spend more time with his twin daughters after his divorce and the lingering feelings he has for his ex.
On its face this movie looked like it would have been a real downer, but the light and fun score, and the delicate touch of humor from Clement. He drops jokes into scenes and walks past them, leaving them to hit the audience like a time bomb.
This is a very good comedy about relationships and oddly, a good comic book movie. Maybe not a "Comic Book Movie" but a movie about comic books. It's very interesting to see the movie play out the plot of the graphic novels of made by two of the characters or to see them pre-enacting parts of their graphic novels.
One observation in my household was that Jessica Williams, famous for her correspondence work on The Daily Show, was an especially good actor in this film contrary to our expectations based on her comedy work. Something about her tenure on The Daily Show seemed to fall flat, and feel forced, but her acting in this movie felt real, fun, and empathetic.
We were between this and a Noah Baumbach movie and in hindsight it was a fitting choice for a movie. It was not as heavy as some Baumbach movies and didn't have the especially artistic shots of his films, but it did have the heart, sense of humor and high level of engagement.