Writer/director Ash Christian’s Petunia, slated for a DVD release from Wolfe Video on Sept. 3, is a New Yorker comedy that would make Woody Allen proud.
The Petunia family has issues … lots of issues! Those issues prove to be a rich source for filmmaker Ash Christian to mine. That they are New Yorkers — in every sense of the word — makes Petunia a gold mine; a mother lode of comedy bits and quips.
A terrific ensemble cast works their way through a jumble of stories that begins with Charlie, the gay son of Vivian (Christine Lahti) and Percy (David Rasche), who has fallen hard for one of his neighbors, but is trying very hard to resist the temptations. Much of what he struggles with has a good deal to do with the incredibly bad advice that his mother and father have given him and his brothers over the years.
As it turns out, mom and dad are both psychoanalysts, which means that the bad advice they’ve dealt out carries quite a bit of weight. Professionals, you know. Their home life however is no bed of roses as their marriage is on the rocks (drama, with plenty of laughs down that particular tunnel of the gold mine).
Oh yes, Charlie’s neighbor, George — played by Michael Urie — is married, which doesn’t come to light right off the bat, but it does make for some very awkward (read: funny) moments as the story (and relationship) develops. We won’t even get into Robin (Brittany Snow), his wife, but there’s one little cutie with some issues — but please don’t turn to Charlie’s mom and dad for advice!
Add in the two brothers, Adrian (Jimmy Heck) and Michael (Eddie Kaye Thomas), who share something in common (no giveaways here, but it certainly does complicate things) — the former is a sex addict with a penchant for collecting a certain type of art, while the latter is married to a shrew named Vivian (played marvelously by Thora Birch, who also co-produced the film).
There’s more, lots more, but you get the basics of this delightful comedy that Ash Christian has brewed-up this time out … his best work to date that is blessed by some terrific dialog and some wonderful, if ever-so-skewed situations (if you have a chance and haven’t caught his Fat Girls or Mangus! do so).
The film is getting a limited theatrical break beginning this week (June 28) and has also worked the festival circuit. The home entertainment push by Wolfe Video is probably the best bet for catching this one.
Bonus features include deleted scenes and commentary from Ash Christian, who is joined by cast members.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report