The Safety of Objects
Writer and director Rose Troche, adapting and intertwining the short stories of A.M. Homes, follows the unhappy lives of members of four suburban families: a mother (Glenn Close) nursing her comatose son (Joshua Jackson), a workaholic lawyer (Dermot Mulroney) unhinged by a lost promotion, a wife (Mary Kay Place) discontented at the lack of excitement in her life, and so on. The film’s attitude toward suburbia comes more from other movies (The Graduate
, The Ice Storm
, American Beauty
, etc.) than from the suburbs themselves, while some plot threads (like an adolescent boy’s sexual obsession with his sister’s Barbie doll) may have looked less silly on the page than they do on the screen. The decent cast sleepwalks through the tangled stories and Troche’s monotonous pacing without making much of an impression.