With more than enough buzz on its side, this creation of the Duplass brothers introduces us to a trio of twentysomethings — Josh, his girlfriend, Emily, and his tree-hugging brother, Rhett — as they embark on a road trip to retrieve a replica of their father’s old La-Z-Boy recliner, with hopes of personally delivering it to him in Georgia. While the story revolves around their trip and the misadventures that ensue, it is really about Josh, Emily, and the stalemate that is their relationship. The characters are three-dimensional, the situation familiar, and the film moves along with nicely understated humor.
Most strikingly it ends where similar relationship dramas, like Garden State, should have, rescuing itself from the picturesque happy ending, which, although abrupt, is surprisingly satisfying. Its loyalty to real life is what really sets it apart from anything else.
The Puffy Chair is a well-acted, tender little film, with a well-chosen, well-cued soundtrack, and could be for the Duplass brothers what Bottle Rocket was for the Wilsons and Wes Anderson.