This is the latest from director Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies). Something I really like about his style is the improvised dialogue in the scenes. It gives the whole movie a really casual, naturalistic feeling to it. And it comes off deceivingly simple. But this movie is really saying a lot. You learn about these characters’ past, the state of their marriage, raising a child, friendship, etc. And some of the characters, you don’t even know their names. Jake Johnson and Rosemarie Dewitt are wonderful as the main couple. They both go on their own separate, but strangely similar journeys throughout the course of one weekend. The list of people that come and go in their lives throughout the weekend is impressive. Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, and Sam Elliott are a few. Chris Messina and Jenny Slate even pop up for a scene. It’s interestingly shot, well acted, kind of understated in general. Overall, I throughly enjoyed it.
Side Note: I saw this at The Music Box in Chicago, and afterwards they held a talkback with Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson:
They were both really cool and they talked about the process of the movie mostly. How when it comes to improvising, they call the first take a “writing take” and the more takes they do, the more solid the dialogue becomes. So, it is improvised, but they get the chance to improve on that first spark of dialogue.
I think my favorite part they talked about was that this plotline basically happened to Jake Johnson. He and his wife were digging a garden at this rental house and they found a bone and a gun, among a lot of the other artifacts that they found in the movie. This was the jumping off point for the whole thing.