Here at BUST, we’ve been superfans of Jenny Slate for ages, and we’ve been thrilled to watch her skyrocketing movie career. Slate’s latest film is Landline, an ensemble dramedy co-written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, who previously wrote and directed Obvious Child, which also starred Slate.
Landline has a stellar cast, co-starring Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, John Turturro, Jay Duplass, and Finn Wittrock, but Slate, who also executive produced, is really the star here. She plays a young woman, Dana, who seems to have it all together — she’s a graphic designer at Paper magazine, has an amazing NYC apartment, and recently got engaged to her longterm boyfriend, Ben (Jay Duplass). But inside, she’s flailing at the prospect of being with one person for the rest of her life and yearning for more excitement — and she begins an affair after running into a flirty old friend, Nate (Finn Wittrock). Wracked with guilt, Dana becomes closer to her angsty younger sister, Ali (Abby Quinn) — who herself is trying to figure out whether she should tell her mom, Pat (Edie Falco), that she discovered her father’s (John Turturro) secret stash of erotic poetry written to his mistress. How did she discover this? By inserting the wrong floppy disk into a computer after trying heroin for the first time at a high school party.
About the floppy disk and heroin — the film is set in New York in 1995, and the nostalgia is HEAVY. And I’ve only lived in New York since 2012, so I’m sure I missed a ton of it. Expect ‘90s music, shots of New York indie landmarks like the late Other Music (RIP), and some hilarious moments featuring Pat trying to emulate pink-suited, women’s-rights-are-human-rights-speech-era Hillary Clinton.
Landline reminds me of HBO’s Insecure in the way that it shows complicated, flawed women cheating on their partners — without turning those women, or their partners, into villains. The film is further worth celebrating for the way it centers the relationships between women in a family — between sisters Dana and Ali, of course, but also between the sisters and their mother, Pat. Of course, Jenny Slate’s performance is fantastic, as are Edie Falco’s, Abby Quinn’s, and the rest of the cast. Make sure to bring a lot of Kleenex to this one.
Landline hits theaters on July 21st.
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