Hell is other (upper-middle-class) people. Whether it was writer/director Brian Savelson’s intention to make Seth (Zach Gilford), the protagonist of his feature debut, as annoying as he comes across is something we might never know. As it stands, Seth is a navel-gazing twerp in the mold of Garden State‘s Andrew Largeman, only without lithium as an excuse. The story: Seth takes girlfriend Andie (Jena Malone) on an impromptu weekend trip to his family’s vacation house in upstate New York, where they unwittingly run afoul of dad Gil’s (John Slattery) own getaway with new girlfriend Vicky (Gabrielle Union). There’s awkwardness, as Seth and Gil are both all too eager to remove themselves from each other’s company, but they stick it out at the females’ insistence. Apparently, this is supposed to be a good thing. It’s not hard to believe Seth’s version of things, as Slattery’s Gil is like a drunker version of Mad Men‘s Roger Sterling who also appears game for a little Damage-style action with his son’s girlfriend. But how long does it take to shrug off your daddy issues? Seth wasn’t beaten or neglected; Dad was just a little aloof, which in real life doesn’t give you license to be a petulant shit well into your twenties. By the time Savelson has hit all the obligatory checkpoints (unplanned pregnancy, dying parents, bear home invasion), the reconciliation we all saw coming has been achieved. During their “getting to know you” scene, Seth asks Vicky, “Is everybody that predictable?” As far as In Our Nature goes, it would seem so.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 5, 2012