Title: 7 Chinese Brothers
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Bob Byington
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Olympia Dukakis, Eleanore Pienta
Runtime: 1 hr 18 mins
What It Is: Larry (Schwartzman) is pretty much a loser. After being fired from his job at Buca Di Beppo he finds himself jobless. That is until he goes in to get his car fixed at a body shop. It is here where he finds a new job, with a new boss name Lupe (Pienta). Larry holds out hope his grandmother (Dukakis) will give him money, she won’t, or that he’ll figure out his life, he won’t or maybe his boss will strike up a relationship with him, she won’t…at least you think so.
What We Think: Schwartzman gives his hipster mopey schtick another layer of polish here as a lovable loser. Not only is his character the type of guy you’d like to root for you’re not sure why. He’s not a particularly likable character, in fact some might find him annoying. Eleanore Pienta is very charming here, but she’s still stuck in indie land. This narrative isn’t tightly wound enough to keep you interested, and the film is structured and paced in such a way that most audiences will not enjoy it, despite everything it does right.
Our Grade: B-, It’s as hipsterish as one would imagine it being. Sometimes the story meanders but hot damn if that dog Arrow (Schwartzman’s real life pet) isn’t the most adorable animal on screen this year I’d like to see what beats it. Pay no real attention to the films title as it doesn’t have much to do with the content. I’m going to recommend this with the caveat that if you don’t like (or are not familiar) with the mumblecore pacing you won’t enjoy it. Look out for Eleanore Pienta she might be a star later on down the line of her career.