Stuart (Justin Kirk) and Nicole (Julianne Nicholson) experience the harsh comedown from meeting to dating to marriage to misery.
Big question: If this is just one more movie telling us modern relationships don't work, can "Flannel Pajamas" at least wear its heart on its sleeve?
Skip it: Stuart and Nicole's love is rarely believable, and "Flannel Pajamas" seems detached from reality: the film doesn't look and sound like two people falling in and out of love, just like two actors who can't make clunky dialogue sound like anything other than a script.
Catch it: If you see a need for Nicole's mom to become anti-Semitic towards the end of the movie. Since Stuart is Jewish, that piece of dirty laundry might be relevant if it didn't come from a drawer left closed for the bulk of the film.
Bottom line: A few scenes manage some poignancy about communication and manipulation, but "Flannel Pajamas" grows increasingly irritating as its characters lose their appeal as well. The film does a lot of talking about events and problems that it doesn't show, and by the time these two must decide whether or not to stay together, we've given up on the whole process entirely.
Bonus: People who know nothing about relationships can get easily understandable pearls of wisdom like this: "There's so much you can learn about relationships if you keep your ears open and your mouth closed." Do you know anyone that actually talks like this? And do you want to listen to them?
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed and written by Jeff Lipsky; photographed by Martina Radwan; edited by Sara Corrigan; production designed by Len X. Clayton; music by Paul Hsu; produced by Jonathan Gray, Brian Devine and Jason Orans. A Gigantic Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:04. No MPAA rating (parents cautioned for nudity, sexuality, mature themes and language).
Stuart - Justin Kirk
Nicole - Julianne Nicholson
Elizabeth - Rebecca Schull
Jordan - Jamie Harrold
Tara - Michelle Federer
Bill - Tom BowerCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times