Film Review: Landing Up

STUDIO: Random Media | DIRECTOR: Dani Tenenbaum | CAST: Stacey Maltin, Dov Tiefenbach, Ben Rappaport, E’Dena Hines, Jay DeYonker
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2018 | Available on Digital Platforms
SPECS: NR | 96 min. | Comedy drama

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes):

Directed by Dani Tenenbaum and written/produced by and starring Stacey Maltin,  Landing Up is an intriguing blend of light and dark, comedy and drama (even melodrama) that can best be described as street-hustler rom-com.

Stacey Maltin in Landing Up

Maltin plays Chrissie (or Callie? or Katie Jo?) a girl from the Midwest living in an NYC women’s shelter with her friend Cece (E’dena Hines, the late granddaughter of Morgan Freeman). The two are saving their money to get their own apartment. They also trade sex for an upgrade in a night’s accommodation or even a gig handing out flyers for stand-up comedy shows (the indignity!) They are not rancid streetwalkers working the warehouse district—they are bright young women who can make a quick change and blend in with middle class surroundings. Clearly, however, they are on the verge of becoming urban flotsam. When Chrissie meets up with David (Ben Rappaport, TV’s Mr. Robot), a “brander” (ad exec), she gets a glimpse of the life she really wants. But with the tension between that life and her own reality, Chrissie’s world threatens to implode.

Tenenbaum carefully observes the minutiae of New York life: a pretentious theater piece; a paranoid junkie who makes people leave their cellphones in a tinfoil covered box; an intimidating realtor’s open house.

Maltin is exceptional in a role that seems to glide along in perky sit-com rhythms until cute no longer cuts it and she must decide if she can do what is necessary to survive. Like a true hustler, she goes into overdrive when she’s cornered. Rappaport, boyishly handsome and clever, still projects enough suburban naiveté to provide a foil for Maltin.

Landing Up has the feel of an indie date movie with a dangerous undercurrent that finally threatens to pull you under. It’s well worth checking out.

Buy or Rent Landing Up

About David

David Leopold is an actor, writer and videographer who would take a Sherpa ride up a Tibetan mountain to see an Edwige Feuillère movie.