A New York City oddity, with a man in early middle age unable to leave the comfort of his parents' bohemian curio of an apartment, or his memories of a lost adolescence. Reminded me of Bunuel's Exterminating Angel, esp. when the pudgy lead, Mikey, is unable even to descend the stairs of his parent's house. The parents are played by director Jacob's own parents and seem fascinating enough to warrant their own doc.
A new father getting a nervous breakdown when facing his responsibilities. As a father of young children the fear Mike is facing is recognizable. The way Mike, his wife and his parents are unable to express their feelings and to communicate makes their pain even more visible. Although a bit overlong this is a nice film about a man in transition.
I am glad I watched this film. It was slow and seemingly mundane - yet truly profound in so many ways. Nothing can prepare one for parenthood and I am not recommending his path, but I do think it was a journey he needed to take to become the Dad he needed to be. Loved the scene with his mom nurturing him like a baby - not many words spoken in this family yet visually explicit.
Very quiet take on what happens when the weight of responsibility gets to be too much. Lots of poignant and tragicomic moments. I especially liked the scene in which Mikey slid down the stairs. I don't know if I bought the so-called cathartic scene(s); was it a mother's comforting touch or Dante trying to "sweat out the drugs" before his test to the lilting melodies of the Indigo Girls that spurred Mikey to man up.
Jacobs captures something rare in this quite amazing feature namely that impulse to put life on hold and hide out momentarily in the past. Mike finds he just can't fly back to California after visiting his parents in NYC and resume his life as father, husband and employee. He finds the remnants of his youth preserved in his parent's home and falls into lethargy and deninal of responsibility.
Jacob conjures a fantastic working metaphor when Mike calls his wife for the first time: she can hardly hear his voice on the other side of the phone as their child cries. She is hardly able to give him time, nor does she see he is robbing her of the time she deserves. Ironically, this is what he craves from his own parents, as his own crying baby becomes a metaphor for his under-deverlopment in his wife's life.