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SIFF ’17 Capsule Review: ‘LANDLINE’

Landline reunites Obvious Child star Jenny Slate and director Gillian Robespierre for a mid-90s NYC dramedy about a deteriorating family. Slate’s Dana and sister Ali (Abby Quinn) discover their otherwise tame Dad (John Turturro) is having a heated affair. The rub is that Dana has also just turned up the heat on her own extramarital interactions, unbeknownst to fiancé Ben (Jay Duplass). Landline manages cackle-worthy ribbings inside some really introspective examinations of monogamy and family, revealing a picture that is soul-bearingly honest when it’s not brutally funny. As the ratio of laughs to drama shift in the later half, matters grow admittedly grave and the film less fun but the final product – like any family that sticks together – is well worth the emotional tumult along the way. (B-)

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