Author/filmmaker Rebecca Miller (Maggie’s Plan) has a decent cast to go along with a screwball comedy that has the jaunt and fastidiousness of a Woody Allen relying on its bumps for inspiration.
Struggling Big Apple opera auteur Steven (Peter Dinklage) and therapist wife Patricia (Ann Hathaway) aren’t in a good way given that his last success was half a dear ago. Heading to a dive bar with a puppy he gets a jolt for what give the film its name from Marisa Tomei’s tugboat captain. As it has a strange symbiosis of urban and medium which the diminutive artist has excelled in.
In this multi-strand romancer that may not be as contrived as might be assumed there’s Tereza (Harlow Jane) and Patricia’s teen son from an earlier marriage Julian (Evan Ellison) about to consummate their relationship too. With her skeptical Polish immigrant mother Magdalena (Joanna Kulig) and historical re-enacting (with Confederate uniform) step-dad Trey (Brian D’Arcy James) in the mix.
If all the relationships don’t ring with much verisimilitude it could be a varying tempo and the impulsive nature to elicit the kind of humor associated with the breeziness of Allen when he flourished. The ensemble is pretty likeable down in the line in embracing Allen’s wavelength in its peculiarity. From the tension between the neuroses of writer’s block and his compulsive cleaning ‘Doc’ wife in her housecoat with a nun fixation. The most notable turn, though, is from a piquant Tomei who is beginning to hit her stride as a character actor at this stage of her profession.