Mr. Jealousy: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Eric Stoltz, Annabella Sciorra, Chris Eigeman, Peter Bogdanovich, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1997) 2021 / Moonstone Films - MVD Visual)
Overview: Lester Grimm (Eric Stoltz, Pulp Fiction) is haunted by jealous thoughts of his girlfriend Ramona (Annabella Sciorra, Cop Land) and her past lovers.
Encountering one of Ramonas exes - the dashing author Dashiell Frank (Chris Eigeman, Maid in Manhattan) - Lester gets an idea: join Dash’s group therapy sessions under an assumed name and secretly discover Ramon ’s private past.
But Lester’s plan only raises more questions. Will he ever let go of the past? Does Ramona really love him? And why is his best friend suddenly speaking in a British accent?
From acclaimed two-time Academy Award-nominee writer and director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and The Whale, Marriage Story), comes this refreshing comic look at life, love and jealousy.
Blu-ray Verdict: It seems that wit and charm are the two things that make a good romantic comedy. Mr. Jealousy possesses these two things but does not always use them to its advantage.
The movie is Lester Grimm, played by Eric Stoltz, who has had a jealousy problem ever since he started dating. This becomes a much bigger issue when he falls in love with Ramona, a girl who has been with an abundance of other men before Lester.
One of these other men is author Dashiell Frank. Concerned that that Ramona may still have feelings for Dashiell, Lester starts going to group therapy sessions with him to find out the secrets he feels are being kept from him.
This creates an amusing amount of clever situations that are all humorously brought about by Lester’s own jealousy.
This is one of those films that is not very consistent in its quality, but if you stick with it, everything will be worth it in the end.
The movie starts off fairly shallow and cliché. We meet our protagonist, Lester, and learn about his past dating experiences. We learn things that are not surprising and are to be expected from this kind of film.
Lester is not a hunk, but he is not a loser either. He is just a typical guy who has gone through pretty typical things. After a brief history of his character we meet the supporting cast, including Lester’s girlfriend Ramona.
Things develop in a typical manner and the film tries a little too hard to be a quirky comedy. There are specific cuts and quirky editing techniques all placed throughout for comedic effect, but not to much avail. It is amusing, but nothing special.
The film really starts to get good when the plot thickens and the growing situation comedy aspect starts to bloom into something very entertaining.
It starts with the group therapy sessions, which become the backbone of the stories progression, and the way these situations unfold are very entertaining.
I think somewhere along the line Noah Baumbach, writer and director, realized that the comedy of this film comes from the clever wit the stories progression bares, rather than a bunch of sporadically placed and forced jokes.
Towards the middle of the film I stopped over thinking the whole plot and actually then became engaged with it! The film also realized that the quirky style it had tried so desperately to make work in the beginning had not really gone anywhere, so it abandoned that and things greatly improved.
And luckily the ending of the film does not disappoint. That said, it does not wow you either and it most certainly is not terribly unexpected either.
It is not the typical idealized romantic comedy ending. It is more realistic and bittersweet. When you break it down you can find some areas for improvement and I am not saying the ending is perfect.
But it fits and it is not disappointing. It is basically what you would expect. It meets the same tone that most of the film has had, wrapping up the story nicely and making Mr. Jealousy a worthwhile watch.
In closing, I did not expect much from this film, and I after I started watching it I really felt like this was going to be an hour and forty minutes I would never get back!
But as things move along the film gets much better. It is not laugh out loud funny, but it is amusing and it is clever. Mr. Jealousy is never close to being Oscar material, but it is not a bad movie at all.
Indeed, it is a film that enjoys itself, with likable characters and very entertaining situations and at some point I am sure I will watch it through again - with friends. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Revisiting Mr. Jealousy (HD, 40:48) Brand new feature including new interviews with cast members Brian Kerwin, Peter Bogdanovich, producer Joel Castelberg along with vintage interviews with writer and director Noah Baumbach
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:30)
High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.78:1 aspect ratio
Audio: LPCM 2.0 Stereo
Optional English Subtitles