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The Puffy Chair Is Comfy and Good

By Joanna Miller in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 21, 2006 11:00AM

2006_09_21chair1.JPGEarlier this week, Chicagoist went to an advanced screening of The Puffy Chair at Copa Lounge in Lincoln Park because (A) we like going to free events, (B) we like drinking beer while we watch movies, and (C) we thought a movie centered around a ginormously hideous purple velvet chair had to be entertaining.

Lucky for us, we weren't wrong.

The Puffy Chair is the first full-length film from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. After completing several successful shorts, the pair filmed their first feature, which debuted at Sundance in January.

Mark Duplass, as the lead character Josh, is a twenty-something on a mission to pick up a purple lounge chair he bought on eBay for his father's birthday. Josh and his long-suffering girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton, who is also his real-life fiancée as our friends at Austinist discovered) set out on a road trip to get the chair, but of course, the trip turns into so much more.

We loved The Puffy Chair for its many funny moments and realistic characters. Aselton's facial expressions alone convey Emily's relationship frustrations -- ones all girlfriends can relate to. And, everyone knows someone like Josh's brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) -- a freespirited type who follows his impulses only to abandon the idea hours later.

The true-to-life dialogue and humorous scenarios kept us entertained throughout the film. However, we felt shortchanged by the all-too-abrupt ending.

The Puffy Chair opens on Friday at Landmark's Century Centre (2828 N. Clark).

Hanna Aronovich collaborated on this review.