USCAF Review: Ira and Abby
by Alex Billington
March 2, 2007
(Reviewed during the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado - March 1st.)
This very unique and very quirky romantic comedy follows off-beats Ira Black (Chris Messina) and Abby Willoughby (Jennifer Westfeldt), who first bump into each other at a health club and after a quick round of sex in her office decide to marry. Ira is a son of two psychiatrist parents and is a down-on-his-life guy, and Abby is a much-too-friendly and outgoing individual who can't say no and lives with her parents, and it's odd to see these two meet and fall in love so quickly. It's that setup that is the perfect pretense for the remainder of film.
I really enjoyed Ira and Abby and am glad I found this hidden gem. Jennifer Westfeldt wrote the screenplay as well, defining her character that is so incredibly original I'm surprised she hasn't already made it big time with these creations. Her character of Abby is so cute and so perky that it's almost annoying. The film also pulls in a cast of comedic greats, including Fred Willard as Abby's dad who actually sticks more to a dramatic role than a comedic one, yet still delivers spot on.
The direction in this is great as well, with stories that parallel each other and mesh between themselves without getting confusing. The whole story and the whole characterization just get more and more wild and out of control as the film progresses, culminating in a group meeting of multiple psychiatrists and all the family members. It's my favorite scene and in it the humor is witty and snappy and very unique, almost something I've never seen before yet had me laughing for a solid 10 minutes. This film delivers everything: you'll be romantically stimulated, laughing out loud, crying softly, and smiling all in one. And the best of all is that it has a fantastic ending that leaves you happy and full of hope as you leave the theater - a satisfied movie-going experience.
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