By Owen Gleiberman
August 29, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Momma's Man


Azazel Jacobs, the writer-director of Momma’s Man, has done more than make another precious indie family quirkfest; he’s created a true vision. Jacobs thrillingly merges his life into fiction by casting his father, the noted experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs, and artist mother, Flo, as the parents of his depressive-schlump hero — and by shooting nearly the entire film in their ancient Manhattan loft, a supersize hole-in-the-wall that’s one of the most spectacularly vivid and eccentric movie sets I’ve ever seen. Slashed into nooks, crannies, and aisles, and jammed from floor to ceiling with books, records, toys, and God knows what other multitudes of avant-garde bric-a-brac, this pack-rat maze is a city unto itself, and it becomes the landscape for a stirring tale of regeneration.

In this beautiful, wise, and poker-faced comedy of discombobulation, Mikey (Matt Boren), who is quietly freaking out about being a new daddy, stops off to visit his folks and refuses to leave. He regresses, sorting through his kiddie memorabilia, phoning an old girlfriend, generally acting like a morose high school sophomore. Jacobs’ style recalls early Jim Jarmusch, only more so, and Ken and Flo Jacobs are a found-object comedy team: the Nichols and May of wacked, monosyllabic New York bohemia. (Ken is like Harpo Marx aged into a puttering Marxist intellectual.) Their every pricelessly awkward silence speaks a thousand loaded words, as Mikey figures out that he doesn’t have to ”leave” his parents. He can become them. A

Momma's Man

  • Movie
  • Unrated
  • 94 minutes
  • Azazel Jacobs
Complete Coverage
  • Momma's Man