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The Puffy Chair

Mark Duplass , Katie Aselton , Mark Duplass , Jay Duplass  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, Rhett Wilkins, Julie Fischer, Larry Duplass
  • Directors: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass
  • Writers: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass
  • Producers: Julie Fischer, Cindy Duplass, Jay Duplass, Jen Tracy
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JP69
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,911 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Puffy Chair" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do we deserve better? January 31, 2007
The Duplass Brothers' "The Puffy Chair" requires some getting used to. The camerawork is amateur in quality, the acting seems mostly improvised and the story is simple.

It is about a man named Josh wants to purchase a La-Z-Boy recliner for his father as a birthday gift because it is similar to the one his father owned when he was a kid. After a small spat with his girlfriend Emily, he asks her to join him on a road trip to pick up the recliner. While initially planning to pay a short visit to his brother (Rhett), Rhett decides to tag along, adding to the tension between Josh and Emily.

After the expository information is out of the way, "The Puffy Chair," and the simplicity with which it is presented, becomes a thoroughly engrossing film. The recliner itself becomes something of an empty signifier (like the monolith in "2001" or the harmonium in "Punch-Drunk Love," objects that are filled the meaning(s) the viewer is willing to make out of it). To me, it represents (for Josh) a return to the simplicity of his youth, before a passion for music inevitably lead to being in a band that would break up, or before romance was doomed to the same fate. Throughout the film, the recliner makes Josh, a stable, likeable "dude" on the surface, feel elation, disappointment and anger. At times he is driven into a violent rage when the recliner is defaced, figuratively or literally.

Though some might find the subject matter or the approach tedious, the film's power comes from its minimal approach to filmmaking. Appearing more like a documentary than, say, a light version of Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage," the realism of this film, with its inattention to lighting, framing and sound, add to the tension it ultimately revels in. I definitely recommend this film to anyone interested in the storytelling ability that can be found in low-budget cinema.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Road Trip Like No Other January 2, 2007
I sat down to watch THE PUFFY CHAIR, knowing it would be a road flick and expecting a comedy. The preview I read for it sounded like a comedy: A young man takes his high maintenance girlfriend and nature loving brother on a trip to deliver a birthday gift. Road trip plus odd ball characters in my mind usually equals comedy. Maybe it's because I had just seen LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE which uses a similar formula that I expected a few laughs. It's not a comedy, but I wasn't disappointed because it is compelling.

The film is the story of a road trip and like all road trip films, at least those that are good, self discovery happens along the way. The film was written and directed by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass and Mark stars in the film as Josh. We learn at the beginning that Josh dreams of a musical career but comes to the realization that while a career in music is not impossible, it is unlikely he will ever be a performer. His girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) doesn't understand his predicament. She has more pressing concerns on her mind: the future of their relationship. Josh explains that he needs to get away and is leaving to deliver his father's birthday gift: a replica of a Lazy-boy chair his father once owned. He searched E-bay and found an obscure furniture maker in North Carolina who has the item and plans on leaving the next day, alone. Reluctantly he agrees to take Emily and along the way the two visit his brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins), an extreme New Ageish nature loving who decides to join them. Their experiences along the way make up the core of the film and saying much more would reveal the plot twists.

THE PUFFY CHAIR maintained my interest but when it was over, my initial reaction to the characters in the film was mixed at best.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I don't want to oversell the charms of "The Puffy Chair," which some might label amateurish due to its modest scope and limited budget, but I actually found this little relationship picture to be supremely well done. Made with heart, if not a lot of money, "The Puffy Chair" exemplifies what you can do with a solid, finely nuanced script. Simple, lovely, observant and sometimes hysterical--I identified, in a surprising way, with many of the elements of this film. This sleeper had me from the start and kept me enchanted throughout.

Written and directed by Mark and Jay Duplass (respectively), their first feature film also stars brother Mark as its central character Josh. Josh is on a quest to pick up a recliner that he purchased on Ebay. That's it, that's the whole plot. Along for the ride is his girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) with whom he shares a playful, but sometimes volatile, relationship. Having been together for some time, they are at that stage in their relationship where they feel the pressure of making real commitments. Picking up his brother Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) adds a dynamic to the trip that is unexpected. Rhett is a simple soul at peace with the world, which contrasts nicely with the overthinking Josh. Idealizing the chair as a memory and connection to the past, to simpler times, they then plan to take it to their parent's house as a gift. (They had a chair just like it growing up.)

Along the way, they share some good times and some misadventures--almost every one of which I identified with! One particularly amusing (but very real) bit involves Josh paying for a motel room as a single and then trying to get all three of them in. It is, at once, utterly preposterous and absolutely believable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's been done
"The Puffy Chair" has been touted as the apotheosis of the vaunted "Mumblecore" movement of the mid-aughts. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Larry Benjamin
4.0 out of 5 stars Mark Duplass does wonderful work
Anything Mark Duplass does is worth watching and this flick is filled with so many real is heartbreaking at times.
Published 10 months ago by D. Riske
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of "mumblecore"
This is the epitome of everything I wanted from an indie film in the early 2000s: Fun, funny, and quirky while still grounded in a palpable reality. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Joshua Ligairi
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully honest... which is why it may not be for everyone.
Real quick premise, although you should really just go ahead and watch the movie:
Josh (Mark Duplass of FX's "The League") just found what he believes to be the perfect... Read more
Published on January 14, 2011 by McGill
2.0 out of 5 stars Puffy Chair?
Why "The Puffy Chair" for a title, when the premise was about a relationship doomed to fail. "The chair" element adds nothing to the film. Read more
Published on November 24, 2010 by Rudy
5.0 out of 5 stars Duplass
I saw the Duplass brothers in person and it made me check this film out, glad I did.

- Jake Yenor
Published on February 2, 2010 by Jake Yenor
4.0 out of 5 stars Two brothers, a couple of women, a big chair, on the road to some kind...
The Puffy Chair is a fine addition to a growing body of films that abandon the polish of big studio productions, but replace it with a raw honesty that is rarely seen in the... Read more
Published on December 31, 2009 by Nathan Andersen
4.0 out of 5 stars Scathing Indictment of EBay
We view this film as a scathing indictment of EBay practices... Ir is enough to make you sick, the way ordinary people get ripped off and you turn on your computer, go online, log... Read more
Published on August 24, 2009 by Kevin Killian
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Cinema Verite. Is that redundant?
One of the few indie films I've seen in which the improvised dialogue actually sounds real. For that reason, I like this genre road pic which lacks any real point, but still... Read more
Published on January 18, 2009 by Bradley F. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Quite Explain It!
I'm not a movie critic, by any means, however, there's something about this fledgling, amateurish, home made type movie, that really hits the mark. Read more
Published on November 9, 2008 by Joe M.
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