Though The Puffy Chair is the kind of movie that urgently, pathetically wants you to be "Our MySpace Friend!!!" (as the film's website screams), this award-winning indie flick is worth checking out. An amalgamation of Garden State and... well, any road-trip movie you've ever seen, The Puffy Chair is a late-20s quarter-life crisis journey. Which, I know, sounds like it'd be awful to sit through.
Okay, let me start over. This film is cute, yet bittersweet, highlighting the kind of everyday occurrences and conversations that anyone in their late 20s can relate to—the "where is this going, am I wasting my time" relationship talk, the cross-country road trip, the stoner freewheeling brother, the weird old lady running the cheap motel.
You'll recognize yourself in one of the hyper-realistic characters: Josh (Mark Duplass, who also wrote the film) is the rumple-haired rock band booker in NYC who just wants to drive to his parents' house to give his dad a puffy La-Z-Boy chair he found on eBay. Then there's Josh's girlfriend, the adorable Emily (Kathryn Aselton), who wants to join him on the road (and wonders if he'll ever pop the question). And finally there's Rhett (Rhett Wilkins), Josh's hippie brother, whom they pick up along the way (and almost lose—several times—on the short trip). All three are trying to figure out their place in the world and in relation to each other—and what better way to figure that out than in a cramped van barreling down the highway, or in crappy motel rooms?
Granted, all that could make for a tedious, overly dramatic, sappy film. But The Puffy Chair manages to pull off 20-something angst in a genuine, lighthearted (yet not irreverent) fashion, making it feel as if the film's ending comes far too soon.