Mr. Jealousy: Good Early Baumbach
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Written by Noah Baumbach
In 2015, Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America would give us a screwball comedy; 18 years before that film Baumbach gave us a glimmer of coming attractions with an amusing tale of a jealous boyfriend who joins a therapy group to learn more about his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.* As with most Baumbach films, the people on screen aren’t ones you want to hang out with, but boy howdy are they interesting.** As the situation becomes more complex and the tension builds, Eric Stoltz, Annabella Sciorra, and Carlos Jacott*** really turn up the humor.
The verdict: Good!
Cost: Free via Kanopy, Multnomah County Library’s Streaming Service
Where watched: at home
Consider also watching:
*I know! Can you imagine? And there’s the further complication that he pretends to be his best friend so as to remain anonymous.
**Unlinke most other Baumbach films, this also includes a cast member who is a person of color.
***Also fun: Peter Bogdanovich, director of a lot of really good films, plays the group therapist.
- Joining group therapy to get details on your girlfriends ex, how shady is that on a 1–10 scale?
- What’s your favorite Eric Stolz film?
Favorite IMDB trivia item:
On The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance marquee that appears in the film, a quote (“a classic”) is attributed to G. Brown. The critic in question is Georgia Brown, famed Village Voice film critic and mother of writer/director Noah Baumbach.
Other reviews of Mr. Jealousy:
- Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune
- Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com