Dysfunctional families are a well-worn subject at the movies, but the raucous relatives in Barry W. Blaustein’s dark comedy Peep World are a whole different breed of eccentric.
On the seventieth birthday of their hard charging businessman father (Ron Rifkin), four siblings and their extended relatives make plans to reunite for dinner to celebrate the momentous occasion, despite an unshakable animosity towards one another that’s about to come to a blistering boil. The youngest sibling, Nathan (Ben Schwarz), has just published a bestselling and revealing exposé about their family’s most intimate and shameful exploits, and no one is happy about it except himself.
In spite of his insurmountable financial woes, Jack (Michael C. Hall) is a semi-responsible husband and hard-working professional who is starting to feel the choke hold of his impending fatherhood. His brother Joel (Rainn Wilson) is doing the best he can to stay alive in the face of perpetual unemployment and a pair of loan sharks following his every move. Their sister Cheri (Sarah Silverman) is just plain pissed off at everyone, especially Nathan, who, along with his book, has become the lightning rod for her every neurotic complaint. Making matters worse, the movie adaptation of Nathan’s book is currently in the works, and their father’s new girlfriend (Alicia Witt) has been cast in the role of Cheri.
In addition to Peep World‘s talented ensemble cast, the film also features a slew of stars in supporting roles; Judy Greer, Stephen Tobolowsky, Taraji P. Henson and Kate Mara are the much better-mannered significant others to these four flawed siblings, while Lesley Ann Warner is note-perfect in her role as the clan’s beleaguered matriarch.
In the vein of The Royal Tenenbaums, Peep World paints what initially seems like a familiar family portrait, but deftly transforms into an engaging, unpredictable and darkly hilarious day in the life of a group of would-be adults. –TIFF
I wanted to like this because the premise is good and I'm a huge fan of Sarah Silverman. I loved her performance; the film itself fell flat. Only the dinner scene resonates, to a point. The shallow script doesn't have enough back story. You never feel like you know the characters. The film's potential makes its blandness criminal. I hope Silverman's talents will be employed in better movies. She's a great actress.