Release Date: August 24th, 2007 (Quad Cinema) by Magnolia Pictures.
The Cast: April Barnett, Rob Brownstein, Colleen Crabtree, Andrew Friedman, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kirstin Pierce, Ryan Smith, Bruce Thomas, Patty Wortham, Cedric Yarbrough.
Directed by Armen Kaprelian and Kent Llewellyn.
BASIC PREMISE: A “documentary” about three couples who search with a real estate agent to buy a home.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Closing Escrow feels somewhat like Best in Show but with too much repetitive humor and not enough real laugh-out-loud moments. Each of the three married couples has their own reasons for wanting to purchase new house, all of which seem like understandable reasons—especially Mary (Crabtree) and Allen (Brownstein), who has to travel one hour back and forth from work to his current home. Their real estate agent, Peter (Thomas) doesn’t quite like how picky they are with what they want, like when Allen asks for a dance room that’s ready for use. Then there’s Dawn (Wortham) and Tom (Friedman), who married one another after Dawn stalked and harassed Tom when he was married to his ex-wife. Their aggressive real estate agent, Richard (Smith) tells them from the get-go that they should pretend he’s Saddam Hussein and they’re his slaves who follow his orders. The segments with him come across as creepy rather than funny, like when he destructs part of a home to decrease the price. On the other hand, the one agent who does generate some laughter is Hillary, played by the wildly offbeat Wendi McLendon-Covey from the TV show “Reno 911”. She goes ballistic when she hears the word “plantation shutters” said in front of her African American clients, Tamika (Barnett) and Bobby (Yarbrough). She also obsesses over antique cigarette lighter from World War I and unconvincingly claims that she’s not racist when she says to her clients that she respects “you people”. Co-writers/directors Armen Kaprelian and Kent Llewellyn set up some chances for improvisation which often feels awkward and repetitive in nature, unlike Christopher Guest’s Best in Show which has many refreshing scenes. Despite some lively characters, unfortunately, the quirkiness and randomness here doesn’t translate into much laughter here.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 7
IN A NUTSHELL: Lively, offbeat characters in random, quirky situations don’t compensate for the redundancies and lack of laugh-out-loud moments.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "C" Menu