Mumblecore films rarely do anything for me. Landline is a mumblecore period film set in the 1990s, and that twist doesn’t do the concept any favors.
The film focuses on a family of awful 90s hipsters living in a world of their own problems that stem from their laissez faire approach to the world. Parents Alan (John Turturro) and Patricia (Edie Falco) do their best to seem unshakeable in the face of their daughters’ attempts at rebellion and shock value. The elder daughter Dana (Jenny Slate) has been engaged to Ben Jay Duplass) for a few years and their relationship has stagnated, leading her to have an affair with her friend Nate (Finn Wittrock). Younger daughter Ali (Abby Quinn) seems intent on getting drunk and high and skipping school and offending her parents, who don’t seem to do any more than try to seem unphased and let their daughters make their own mistakes, which only perpetuates their awful behavior. And then we find out that Alan has been cheating on his wife with his experimental theater acting partner Carla (Amy Carlson).
There are things that happen in this movie, but there’s not much of a coherent plot. I think that it’s supposed to be funny, and I think that the movie thinks that it’s very funny. And yet there’s nothing in the movie that actually comes anywhere near the vicinity of comedy. It’s just 97 minutes of apathetic boredom with these terrible people making things terrible for themselves and then wallowing in the consequences. And that’s all I have to say about that.