Somebody Up There Likes Me ★★★

What it basically comes down to is that I find Byington's comic fixations — rudeness and morbidity — funny and compelling. This doesn't have as much wall-to-wall acidity as Harmony And Me, but it has more than enough sparkily rude dialogue ("Can I get you a glass of wine and a sense of humor?") to sustain a film that's simultaneously incredibly slight and unsustainably ambitious. On one hand, 35 years "pass" (with nobody aging except for NIck Offerman and Keith Poulson's son), death intrudes with such casualness it's not even worth mentioning, fortunes are gained and lost; on the other hand, it's basically just Poulson wandering around in a bunch of ill-fitting clothing, dialogue with a fixation on homophones (Poulson says "reasons" but Weixler hears "raisins," which we see as a subtitle to clarify her confusion) and an acerbic dissection of the language used by waiters trained to offer "service." It's smart and sad about death, and the stupid decisions casually made on a day-to-day basis by adrift 20/30somethings who think marriage will give them the stability and rigor they lack otherwise. "You never know what's good for you," Offerman says, and he's right. But mostly this is funny to me, and while I know people who not only aren't amused but seem to want to punch Byington, I just can't get the anger, so please don't punch me as a substitute. (Also I grew up in Austin and this I'm pretty sure gives the airport the most screen time ever to date; that plus the Bob Sabiston animated transitions took me back about a decade and 1,500 miles, so an unfair advantage there.)

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