'Nesting'

A comedy about acting your age, or not, writer-director John Chuldenko's "Nesting" focuses on a thirtysomething Los Angeles couple who, worried they've settled down too fast, try to revisit their free-spirited youth (all of 10 years earlier).

A comedy about acting your age, or not, writer-director John Chuldenko’s “Nesting” focuses on a thirtysomething Los Angeles couple who, worried they’ve settled down too fast, try to revisit their free-spirited youth (all of 10 years earlier). The script unfortunately suffers from its own case of arrested development, barely getting out of the gate before stalling, and never building enough laughs or narrative impetus to justify feature length. Inconsequential results, opening in a few U.S. markets May 11, will play better as a pleasant but instantly forgettable time-filler on the smallscreen.

Neil (Todd Grinnell) and Sarah (Ali Hillis) were living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, more or less, when they met a decade earlier. Now they’ve both got boring jobs, a mortgage and all the accoutrements of a yuppie lifestyle. Realizing that “what I really want is to have a torrid, passionate affair with the woman my wife was five years ago,” he persuades her to go on an impromptu fire-rekindling road trip to San Francisco while contractors work on their house.

The first sign that the pic might run out of steam comes when the two don’t get any farther than Silver Lake, where they lived in the early days. Stopping for a nostalgic drink, they end up breaking into their conveniently empty old apartment and crashing for the night. Then they improbably decide to stay on … and not much more happens, beyond the spontaneous decision to throw a blowout party, with awkward, sobering consequences.

As staged, however, the party doesn’t seem all that raucous; it’s a surprise when one realizes it was meant to be the film’s action climax, so to speak. Indeed, “Nesting” is so consistently mild in humor and incident that neither the protags nor the viewer seem to have completed nearly enough of a journey when the end credits arrive.

The leads are likable enough, particularly the droll Grinnell, but the material simply isn’t strong enough to let them create full-blooded characters. Similarly, packaging is competent but nondescript.

Nesting

Production

A Dangertrain Films and PMK*BNC Films release of a Dangertrain Films production. Produced by Laura Boersma, John Chuldenko. Executive producers, Jim Stanard, Karen Clark, Jay Nichols. Directed, written by John Chuldenko.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Frederick Schroeder; editor, Sam Restivo; music, Julian Wass; music supervisor, Graham Macrae; production designer, Jem Elsner; art director, Alexander Delgado; set decorator, Johanna Jenkins; costume designer, Sarah Ellis; sound, Phillip Perpich; re-recording mixer/supervising sound editor, Eric Lalicata; assistant director, Alexander Delgado; casting, Hannah Cooper. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, May 3, 2012. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Todd Grinnell, Ali Hillis, Kevin Linehan, Erin Chambers, Alexi Wasser, Jeffrey Stubblefield, Sorel Carradine, Erik Stocklin, Wes Armstrong, Jeremy Radin, Jamal Thomas, Erin Gray.
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