Peep World: An Unfunny Gathering of Whiny, Entitled Siblings

Twenty-nine-year-old Nathan (Ben Schwartz) has one bestselling novel under his belt, and already he’s modeling himself on Mailer and making sport out of negging pretty publicists like Meg (Kate Mara). Nathan is coincidentally wrapping up his book tour in his hometown of Los Angeles on the same day of the birthday celebration for his real estate mogul father (Ron Rifkin), a family dinner thrown by the writer’s oldest brother, Jack (Michael C. Hall). Rather than embrace the literary prodigy, Nathan’s family uses his homecoming as an occasion to gripe about his hit book, a very thin veiling of their actual foibles: the screechy self-absorption of aspiring actress Cheri (Sarah Silverman), the mooching of repeatedly rehabbed Joel (Rainn Wilson), and straightlaced Jack’s quarter-booth porn habit. After establishing that this dinner is, like, awkward, Peep World then rolls back 12 hours to trace how each of the whiny, entitled siblings prepared for the evening. Thick with stale “We’re Jewish!” and inconvenient-boner jokes, the film’s a post-Office, shaky-cam sitcom pilot stretched to feature length. Something’s simply wrong when a film with so many comedians yet so few laughs turns Lesley Ann Warren, using plain old-school reaction shots, into the comic MVP.

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