Reunion Goes as Skin-Deep as its Screenplay

Upwardly mobile dullards with unchecked superiority complexes, all members of an early-'80s Yale secret society, reconvene at the 10-year anniversary of a mutual friend's death for some trivial group therapy in a high-rise conference room. Not so much a Big Chill knockoff as a poor man's Whit Stillman comedy, this pretentious gab-fest from trial lawyer-turned-filmmaker Alan Hruska (Nola) feels like it traveled through a wormhole after someone watched Metropolitan in 1990. The cut-out characters—an ethnocentric Jewish doctor and his self-righteous wife, an aloof billionaire and his starlet girlfriend, a high-powered agent and her tagalong boss who wants to meet the billionaire—say very little with too many syllables (examples: The deceased is a "hypersensitive empath," and a simple retort requires, "There's something deeply paradoxical about that statement"). Nobody talks like this, and Hruska is complicit in both failing to call bullshit on his characters' loftiness and cutting scenes on humorless zingers that emphasize how clever he thinks he's being: "That is the advantage about being an actress," a soon-to-be ex-lover declaims. "I get rejected all the time." Interrogated by these odious clowns who were once his pals, the whiny doctor asks, "How deep are we gonna go?" As skin-deep as that screenplay, baby.

 
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