When Josh (Mark Duplass) was a kid, his Dad had a puffy chair, a big lazy-boy recliner. Josh loved that damn chair, like it was his best friend or something. Anyway his Dad doesn’t have the big puffy chair anymore and Josh thinks that a new one from an ebay seller that he’s found online will be the perfect birthday gift for his dear old pop. So Josh and his girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) set out in their van to collect it.
So… Josh is driving across the county so that he can try to reconnect with his father, when he can’t even connect with his own girlfriend, right... I see; good luck Josh. But then they pick up his whacked-out brother, Rhett (Rhett Wilkins) and the group dynamic changes.
“I deserve better than this Josh” wails Emily.
“Better than what?” retorts Josh
“Better than me?!”
Yeh, pretty much, she’s a hottie, and you’re… well you’re an idiot.
Josh isn’t sure whether he’s the tough-guy hard-man, the cool chilled-out mellow-man or the wheeler-dealer record label promoter. But whichever way you look at it Josh is a loser, loveable maybe, but a loser all the same and Emily knows it. Their relationship is on the rocks and it looks to be going nowhere but downwards.
But it’s not all Josh’s fault, Emily is ridiculously idealistic and optimistic and it’s her own insecurities that are at the root her frustrations with Josh and their crumbling relationship as opposed to John not doing the dishes every now and then.
The Puffy Chair is a story about broken hearts, broken promises, broken arms and a broken old puffy chair. At the heart of the film there is well meaning, a promise of tenderness, a wish for sentimentality. But The Puffy Chair in almost every sense fails to be uplifting, to promote a positive message or to be of any real interest.
The Puffy Chair dreams of being Clerks or Chasing Amy but it lacks any of the caustic dialogue or excellent characterisation.
There are moments when the acting is passable and it’s not entirely unwatchable, but the storyline is ludicrous and the production values are terrible. Basically the film fails to get under the skin of the viewer and thus fails to engender any genuine feelings of excitement or sympathy for the characters.
Honestly, come the end, I didn’t care what happened. If you ain’t got good characters, you ain’t got a good film.