From the GATW Archives: Austin Film Festival 2010 Review: PEEP WORLD


You’re a fucking bitch.

Rating: 3.5/5

DirectorBarry W. Blaustein
WriterPeter Himmelstein
CastMichael C. HallSarah SilvermanRainn WilsonBen Schwartz and Judy Greer

Everything written in Peep World is true. This is why our family of four siblings hate each other. Or just the author of the book,  the youngest of them all (seven years to be exact), Nathan (Ben Schwartz), who became rich by exposing all of his family’s dirty little secrets. The angriest sibling, Cheri (Sarah Silverman), can’t go a day without interacting with Peep World's rapidly growing popularity -  it's currently being shot into a feature film outside of her apartment window. Joel (Rainn Wilson) is a fuck up ignoring that he's a fuck up because his pushover brother Jack (Michael C. Hall) is always there to pay for his, well, fuck ups.

Now, after the world has read all about his insane family and the weird - and often perverted - things they’ve done in their lives, Nathan must reunite with them for their father’s seventieth birthday. Tough times head.

Whoever was in charge of casting PEEP WORLD deserves a large scoop of ice cream and pat on the back. Sarah Silverman is one bad bitch who never fails to to make the laughs happen. In PEEP WORLD, all of her bottled up hilarious angst verbally regurgitates on that family foe who betrayed her. Michael C. Hall, known as either the gay guy from Six Feet Under or the badass in Dexter, hereplays a giant coward who does nothing when his father (Ron Rifkin) gives him a good tongue-lashing. It’s nice to see Hall spread out his abilities. He’s now completed the trifecta in acting (gay, badass, sissy). Rainn Wilson will always be Dwight from The Office, but he brings a fair amount of something different to this role: sadness. At one point he delivers this line, “I’m not angry, I”m telling you hurt” with such sincerity. His upset emotions work. Family isn’t supposed to be exploited for one’s gain, but Nathan did just that. What’s so great about these actors working together is their accurate sibling rivalry on screen. The sole purpose of this film is to show how pissed off everyone is.

My one complaint is that PEEP WORLD feels too short for a feature-length film. Our actors don’t have enough screen time to fully embarace the hardships their characters are currently undergoing. These aren’t people anyone would like, but the actors playing them have murdered numerous people, spat out the most racist remarks in comedy specials, and made it cool again to be a dork - and we eat it up.

PEEP WORLD plays out like a 90 minute episode of your favorite sitcom. Larry David, Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, etc. should be proud of director Barry W. Blaustein’s latest work. Every decision the characters make on screen result in an awkward and hilarious moment nobody wants to get caught in. The only thought that comes to mind is: better them than me. PEEP WORLD is a strangly enjoyable look at how sometimes family can be an asshole. Not mine, of course.