The Chumscrubber (2005)
Arie Posin's The Chumscrubber falls into line with a series of segmented, tangentially connected ensemble films that provide a skewed, semi-philosophical take on life. This is classic Paul Thomas Anderson/Todd Solondz territory, and for tone and themes, Posin draws inspiration from a cross between Desperate Housewives and The Stepford Wives. The result is amusing and often interesting, with particularly Glenn Close and Jamie Bell revelling in their roles. Posin touches some poignant details, and shifts deftly and elegantly between moods and tenors. And as a social comment, The Chumscrubber attacks the perfect suburban facade that is being held up by easy drug prescriptions. Unfortunately, Posin's satire is never cutting. As much of his film, he's gentle and mild, more often than not just scratching the surface. His observations and ideas are too recycled to make a lasting impression, and the "chumscrubber" - believing to be the figure uncovering the truths - becomes more of a showcase than anything else.