IRA & ABBY: DVD
Ira Black (Chris Messina) is highly intelligent, neurotic and Jewish, with so many issues he can't fit them into 12 years of analysis. Abby Willoughby (Jennifer Westfeldt) is a free spirit who works in a gym and is better at solving friends' problems than selling memberships. When they meet, they fall madly in love and decide to marry within a few hours. Abby's socialite mother Arlene (Judith Light) is not convinced, but Ira's happy go lucky parents (Fred Willard & Frances Conroy) are ecstatic. All is well - for a while; but infidelity among the in-laws, a divorce and too many therapists force them to rethink their strategies.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Spitfire comedy from the opening scenes, Ira & Abby is a New York romantic comedy (a specialist sub-genre) with some laugh out loud moments and some sharply satirical things to say about marriage. Written by Jennifer Westfedlt, who previously wrote the delightful Kissing Jessica Stein, the screenplay buzzes with observation. She also stars as the girlfriend who loves everybody, and even helps a New York subway mugger collect the money he needs in one of those farcical scenes that need everything to work to work - if you see what I mean. And it does, because by then we have invested in the characters, and have taken Abby for what she is: a girl with a big heart and a rosy view of love and marriage.
The film's sweet tone is neatly subverted by a sour highlight as the characters reveal their weaknesses, mistakes and infidelities. It plays at times like a high class sit com, but with more at stake. Chris Messina is in neurotic overdrive as Ira (but without irritating mannerisms), Westfield is sexy innocence rolled into one sweet ball, and the two sets of in-laws are wonderfully flinty. Fred Willard continues to energise every scene, Judith Light is magnificent as the therapist mother whose sleek façade hides sins galore, Frances Conroy is sweetly pathetic as Ira's mother, and Robert Klein is sturdy as athe man who finds solace in a drink. Or three.
Robert Carey directs his cast with zest and the film plays its laughs with a sense of gentle sardonic smirk that makes it inoffensive yet tart.
Published February 28, 2008
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IRA & ABBY: DVD (M)
CAST: Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt, Frances Conroy, Judith Light, Robert Klein, Jason Alexander, Fred Willard,
PRODUCER: Brad Zions
DIRECTOR: Robert Cary
SCRIPT: Jennifer Westfeldt
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Harlan Bosmajian
EDITOR: Phillip J. Bartell
MUSIC: Marcelo Zarvos
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ray Kluga
RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive
DVD RELEASE: January 10, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays in February, following a FREE introductory screening on February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.