A slick indie comedy that misses its snappy-irreverent mark, Nesting concerns the people you see “hanging out at Restoration Hardware, wearing their Pixies T-shirts,” as one character puts it. Writer/director John Chuldenko begins his feature debut by smugly lampooning the rampant acquisitiveness of the Gen X yuppie, making fast-and-furious jokes about end tables and sofettes. Troubled that his wife, Sarah (Ali Hillis), has been using her magazine-editor’s salary to amass extraneous home furnishings, part-time secret shopper Neil (Todd Grinnell) mounts a campaign to turn the uptight breadwinner back into the wild woman she was five years ago. This corrective crusade might have made for more palatable viewing were it led by less of a wiseass—Grinnell does not possess charm enough to make this lout lovable. Forced out of the house while their floors are redone, the two take a spin through former L.A. neighborhood Silver Lake; emboldened by the trip back in time, they break into their old apartment and wind up illegally squatting there as they reconnect with the PBR swillers they left behind. Before an out-of-control “housewarming” party gets the couple into hot water, Sarah decides to drop in at her former alt-weekly workplace; the high-end-women’s-mag defector is instantaneously welcomed back into the fold and assigned a 2,000-word feature marking “the 50th anniversary of the neighborhood.” Chuldenko doesn’t aspire to hard realism, but a lifestyle comedy with hard-to-buy fundamentals and a central couple you can’t invest in is a dubious proposition nonetheless.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2012