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Stars: Catherine Keener, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Josh Pais, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Sarah Steele

Director: Nicole Holofcener

I have to confess to being in a small critical minority in finding this comedy-drama a bore, so if you liked Holofcener's previous efforts (in Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing and Friends with Money), you may find something to please you in this chronicle of the everyday lives of apartment-dwelling New Yorkers.

However, the dialogue, by Holofcener herself, is arch to say the least. After all, who really says: 'Gorgeous day. Going to see the leaves.'?

Keener and Platt wearily play married antique furniture dealers, who buy up marketable pieces from the homes of the recently deceased. He has a brief affair with one of the two sisters (Peet, Hall) who occupy the next apartment, where they look after their ever-deteriorating grandmother (Morgan Guilbert).

Relationships are tentatively begun, then cast aside. Keener, whose daughter is obsessed with her ongoing battle against zits, is beginning to develop a conscience about what she does for a living. It's the kind of film where you could drift off for five minutes and miss nothing. Even by the standards of the director's previous work, I found it a trial.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Sony (Sony Pictures Classics). Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Jun 2010