FILM: Peep World
Peep World, the new film written by Peter Himmelstein, isn’t quite what the title may suggest. A comedy flecked with bits of drama, focuses not on a sex shop (though one does make a brief appearance in the film), but on the Meyerwitz family. In the opening scene, we get a brief glimpse of the dinner party, celebrating successful architect and family patriarch Henry’s (Ron Rifkin) 70th birthday. But this party, instead of laughter, hugs and good wishes, is filled with anger, bitterness and blame. The movie then shifts back to eighteen hours previous and does it’s best to develop each of the family members a bit and explain the dinnertime chaos.
We first learn, via Narrator Lewis Black, that Nathan (Ben Schwartz), the youngest of the four Meyerwitz siblings, has recently written a tell-all book, exposing embarrassing details about each of his family members. Throughout the course of the movie, we learn about the struggles that each siblings deal with. Oldest brother Jack (Michael C. Hall) struggles with his failing architecture business, Cheri (Sarah Silverman) finds coping with the release of the book incredibly difficult (especially since they’re filming the movie version of the book right outside her apartment window), and Joel (Rainn Wilson), the screw-up (it took him eight times to pass the Bar Exam).
Overall, this film is quite well-constructed and incredibly funny. At one point, during the dinner, Joel’s girlfriend Mary, (Taraji P. Henson) remarks, “All this over a book? I’ve got cousins that shot each other and they got over it.” However, at 98 minutes, this movie felt much too brief. Though Himmelstein got a good start with the characterization, including interesting and realistic details of each sibling, more time should have been spent on each of their stories. Extending the movie a bit more to discuss childhood and early adulthood might have been more effective. Though the movie isn’t quite as extensive as it should have been, it’s characters and all their issues still make this a highly entertaining, hilarious film.