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Flannel Pajamas 

Jeff Lipsky

Flannel Pajamas
Directed by: Jeff Lipsky
This tiny, intimate, often squicky look into the arc of a relationship is so painfully personal, it’s the kind of thing that makes people wonder why it’s a movie at all. (We don’t like to see ourselves onscreen! Give us pirates! Give us robots! Give us Jigsaw!) Only in the land of tiny, intimate, squicky indies would the wondrous Julianne Nicholson and Justin Kirk be cast as the leads—they’d be lucky to be a wacky sidekick or best friend in a Hollywood effort. Nicholson’s ginger curls and freckles belie her gravity as an actor—played to terrific effect in her debut season this year as a detective on Law and Order: Criminal Intent—and Kirk, the infuriatingly awesome comic foil to Mary-Louise Parker’s stressed dealer on Weeds, turns that sharp wit into a passel of weapons here. As they fall for one another and shoulder the baggage that comes with love—slacker Nicole has a huge, needy family with an anti-Semitic matriarch while the conservative (Jewish) Stewart can’t cut off his mentally unstable brother and hates her friends—Lipsky puts us right there with them, sometimes to the point where you wish he’d back the fuck off. Essentially a two-hander, it’s cracklingly acted and modestly photographed, featuring a dusting of indie zest—AKA full-frontal nudity. A tough but worthy go.
Tara Thorne

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Vol 26, No 42
March 14, 2019

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