Thursday, December 7, 2017

Landline (2017)

On a plot level, I don’t exactly get why this film was set in the 90’s. The title makes you think that perhaps a shared phone line will play a cruicial role, but it doesn’t. This film could have easily been set now with no problems whatsoever. Our world is so obsessed with the past that all the 90’s fashion and music could be used as well. So why set it in the 90’s?

My theory is that director Gillian Robespierre made this film as a Tarantino-level genre homage. Only instead of homaging exploitation flicks from the 70’s, Robespierre was paying homage to New York movies of the 90’s. Dana is living in a Nicole Holofcener film a la Walking and Talking, Ali is living through Kids, and their parents are a Woody Allen film incarnate. And just like in Pulp Fiction, the supporting character of one story gets to be the star of another story.

It’s a cool idea that never beats you over the head with showy visuals or title cards spelling everything out for you. It also doesn’t attempt to elevate the material. This film is right on par with the films it is paying tribute to. This is an warm and funny film that is content to be adequate, and that is wonderful.

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