Not quite the Garlin we expected

POSTED DEC. 12 AT 12:38 P.M.

As I walked into the Cosford Cinema on Dec. 6, I saw dozens and dozens of fans piling into the small theater to see UM-dropout/alumus Jeff Garlin screen his new film, “Someone to Eat Cheese With.” Everyone seemed excited, and the fans ranged from a small group of students to a majority of a middle-aged and elderly audience.

I must admit, I was extremely excited for the new movie, mostly because I love Garlin’s role on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and partly because of Sarah Silverman’s feature as the female lead. Most of the audience seemed to share the excitement for the same reasons.

“Someone to Eat Cheese With” is a refreshing comedy, as it does not seek probable and predictable comedic ploys to get cheap laughs from the audience. It’s relatively short, and shot very well with really beautiful street scenes from Chicago.

Silverman’s part is hilarious, as she plays a woman seeking a fat guy just to see what it would be like to have sex with one. Bonnie Hunt, who is the female co-lead of sorts, plays a very similar character.

Garlin enlisted his cohorts from “Curb” for the film he wrote, directed and convincingly starred in. However, the end of the film undoubtedly left the audience hanging and desperately trying to figure out if he was ending it with a cliffhanger or if he was just trying to be artsy and clever.

Of course, Garlin later did inform the audience that the movie lost funding twice within three months of shooting, and the actual shooting only took 19 days, which could have possibly led to such an abrupt ending. Either way, the audience was left lost in its meaning.

After the film, Garlin hosted a Q&A for an audience desperately seeking his insight. The questions ranged from asking about primarily film financing to his role in “Curb” and a few questions about the actual film.

Surprisingly, Garlin was not exactly welcoming of the questions from the audience. Several times, Garlin even shut questions down calling them stupid, and making fun of the person who asked the question. Needless to say, he was trying to be humorous at the expense of the audience, and even the people who thought it was hilarious, realized in hindsight that he was being overly mocking and rude.

Then, after the sometimes-vicious Q&A, I sat down to interview the actor/comedian. I decided to ask Garlin a few out-of-the-ordinary questions, as the crowd had been asking him generic and repetitive questions the whole evening.

I prepared the questions in hopes that he would use his comedic improv skills and run with the questions and make a joke. However, after a few questions, Garlin questioned if we had worked for Howard Stern, and exclaimed our interview was full of “douchebag” questions.

Of course, show business has also been known to turn great, generous, friendly people into greedy and stuck-up superstars, but I don’t think anyone quite expected such an effect on UM’s own hero, especially when he was paying a special visit to the university he once attended.

It’s been said that Garlin is one of the nicest comedians and actors in Hollywood, but if that is the case, my hopes for a kind gesture from one of Hollywood’s finest are very slim.

Ultimately, Garlin made a slightly-above-average film with an extremely lacking ending, and insulted and snubbed a large audience which was extremely eager to speak with him.

Dan Buyanovsky may be contacted at d.buyanovsky@umiami.edu.

November 29, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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