Your Friends and Neighbors
In his second film, writer-director Neil LaBute presumes to tell a generic story about generic people, who make unashamed messes of their lives through their own misdeeds. In LaBute's microcosm, narcissism is rampant. Husbands suffer erectile indifference with frigid wives, friends prey on friends' spouses, silence is preferred to communication, and common decency dictates emotionally violent revenge. Sent wading through this amoral morass is a superb cast -- Aaron Eckhart, Amy Brenneman, Ben Stiller, Catherine Keener, and Jason Patric. They emerge with a film that is caustically funny, shocking, and full of moments of ringing truth. Unfortunately, LaBute approaches his acutely observed material like a pitying eavesdropper. He also zealously overstates his case. While there are definite universal traits in each of his characters, the extent of their horribleness to each other is thankfully not yet the norm. But despite the whole falling short, the sum of several great parts of Your Friends and Neighbors is still extremely gratifying. This dual-layer disc features 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and pan-and-scan on the same side, and both 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Includes a feature-length commentary track by LaBute and producer Steve Golin, textual supplements, and a trailer. Keep case.