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A real payoff in 'Price Check'

The sharp workplace comedy "Price Check" is a you-are-there slip-and-slide that follows a supermarket chain's pricing department exec whose life gets upended by a whirlwind new boss.

Pete Cozy (Eric Mabius) would rather 9-to-5 it and spend time with his homemaker wife, Sara (Annie Parisse), and toddler son than climb the corporate ladder. But when live-wire — and uncensored toughie — Susan Felders (Parker Posey, flat-out terrific) swoops in from corporate to recharge the firm's ailing Long Island division, this not-quite "devil in Prada" promotes a reluctant Pete to be her trusty second.

With his salary doubled and a light at the end of the credit card-debt tunnel shining bright, Pete, who still longs for his heyday in the now-limp record business, can't help but follow Susan's infectious lead and suits up, literally and figuratively. Susan, meanwhile, cozies up to Pete and his family, reeling them in with her aggressive charm and loopy largesse.

But Susan and Pete's fast-lane trip to L.A. for a powwow with avuncular company chief, Jack (Edward Herrmann), causes a ripple effect that darkens--and effectively deepens — the film's droll mood.

Writer-director Michael Walker keeps a firm grip on his smart material, offering up big laughs, lots of recognizable behavior and, in the end, a wistful glimpse at life's inevitable priorities.

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"Price Check." No MPAA Rating. Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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