Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With’ which is a damned long title for anything, much less a movie, is a difficult film to try and review because it’s so inconsequential. There’s no plot to speak of, it’s very brief and a bit meandering. It is kind of like an episode of ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ in the fact that it’s not about any one thing in particular but it is not nearly as flippant or as carefree as those sitcoms. Not that ‘IWSTECW’ – notice the clever way I use the initials there, always thinking over here – it’s not that it’s a bad movie because in it’s very brief running time I believe you will enjoy the time you spend with James Aaron (Writer, Director, Producer and Star Jeff Garlin) who seems like a very nice and genial person, again it’s just a fairly inconsequential one.

James is pretty much at a stand still in life. At 39 he still lives with his mom (Mina Kolb), is still struggling to be an actor in Chicago, is overweight and his romantic prospects are hovering around zero. James does get the occasional gig, such as the ‘Punk’d’ style show where he as the host assist in tricking people into thinking they have long lost kids or that their spouses are being unfaithful to them, this to go along with his semi-regular gig as member of the Second City improv troupe.

So James’ life generally consists of fussing with his mom, going out eat with his best friend Luca (David Pasquesi), and sitting on top of the hood of his car in the shadow of Wrigley Field eating instant pudding cups. He’s also a bit upset that there is a remake in the works of the classic Ernest Borgnine flick ‘Marty’, upset that they’re remaking it in the first place but more upset that he didn’t a call to try out for the part of ‘Marty’, since for all intent and purposes he IS Marty. Then he meets the wacky Beth (Sarah Silverman) at a local Ice Cream shoppe and this young, thin, pretty girl with the glorious rack (Who knew?) seems genuinely interested in him. Things seem to go well with Beth, but she is one looney chick as James will soon learn, and life goes on.

And that’s pretty much it quite honestly as we simply follow James around and witness him not experiencing life. We watch James meet the pretty lady (Bonnie Hunt) at the record store, who by amazing coincidence, this is Chicago which has like twelve million people in it, is also the 2nd grade teacher ofthe daughter of James best friend, who he meets again at career day. He doesn’t ask her out though. We see James talk to the pirate dude shilling hotdogs, and we see James arguing with his agent, and we see James trying to get a part in the new ‘Marty’ movie and so on. Though it may seem a bit dull and mundane, it never is and quite often it is very funny. Jeff Garlin does a wonderful job, which I guess is because he’s largely playing himself, but still, he's created a completely likable character which leads me to assume that Jeff Garlin must be a completely likable person as well. The cast is filled with members of the SCTV troupe and to that end I’m sure a lot of the scripted elements are improvised, since that is what they do, and it all works well. There’s just not a heckuva lot going on, which I’m sure Garlin did by design. So if you’re looking for a pleasant way to pass 80 or so minutes with a pleasant fat guy, and that wouldn’t be me because I’m not that pleasant, then by all means sit down with ‘I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With’ and you won’t be disappointed.

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