Review: Peep World DVD

Peep World DVD boxSTUDIO: IFC/MPI | DIRECTOR: Barry Blaustein | CAST: Ron Rifkin, Ben Schwartz, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Judy Greer
RELEASE DATE: 7/19/11 | PRICE: Blu-ray$29.98, DVD $24.98
BONUSES: deleted scenes
SPECS: NR | 79 min. | Comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

Peep World movie scene

Sarah Silverman puts up her dukes in Peep World.

The Royal Tenenbaums meets TV’s Arrested Development would be the best way to describe the dysfunctional family comedy Peep World.

The Meyerwitz clan is at the center of the festivities chronicled in this farce. Family patriarch Henry (Ron Rifkin, TV’s Brothers and Sisters) is celebrating his 70th birthday and sees it as a time to reunite his scattered, screwed up progeny.

Here’s who we have in the family: younger son Nate (Ben Schwartz, TV’s Parks and Recreation), who’s tell-all novel based on his family is being made into a film; older sibling Joel (Rainn Wilson, TV’s The Office) is a lawyer on the skids; ever-complaining daughter Cheri (Sarah Silverman, Saint John of Las Vegas) can’t get a break with her acting or art career; and eldest son Jack (Michael C. Hall, TV’s Dexter) is responsible but troubled, hiding his architectural firm’s financial problems from his wife Laura (Judy Greer, Barry Munday).

Add Taraji P. Henson (The Karate Kid), Lesley Ann Warren (TV’s In Plain Sight), Kate Mara (127 Hours), Alicia Witt (88 Minutes) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Thelma & Louise) to this cast, and you have lots of thespian firepower. But, alas, Peep World sputters throughout.

The dialog by Peter Himmelstein and direction by Barry Blaustein (The Ringer) never make the most out of the movie’s potentially darkly comic characters, nor does it mine much humor from their desperate situations. After a while, the film comes across more as a kvetch-a-thon with some ill-conceived comic asides (including an episode at a sex clinic).

IFC kept the special features for the DVD light, with just a few scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the independent film.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.