Insomnia File #51: Ira & Abby (dir by Robert Clary)


What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable or Netflix? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

Oh Lord.

So, if you were having trouble getting too sleep last night, you could have turned over to one of the many Showtime channels you could have watched the 2006 film, Ira & Abby.

I doubt it would have helped though.  Ira & Abby is one of those extremely cutesy little love stories where a neurotic guy meets a quirky woman and they spend the entire film having so many easily solved relationship problems that it’ll drive your anxiety through the roof just watching them.

Ira (Chris Messina) is the son of two psychologists (Judith Light and Robert Klein).  Ira is planning on becoming a psychologist himself and, of course, he’s in therapy.  At the start of the film, his therapist tells him that he’s beyond help and that he needs to do something spontaneous for once.  Ira takes this to mean that he should go the gym.

At the gym, Ira meets Abby (Jennifer Westfeldt), who is quirky and universally beloved by everyone who meets her.  (Westfeldt also wrote the script, which …. might explain a little.)  Abby has a positive attitude and lives with her musician parents (Fred Willard and Frances Conroy).  After Ira sees Abby somehow talk a mugger out of robbing everyone on a subway car, he decides that they have to get married.  Free-spirited Abby agrees.

Marriage follows!  Complications follow!  Annulment and remarriage and more follows!  Everyone ends up seeing a different therapist while, at the same time, Ira’s mom has an affair with Abby’s dad.  And yes, it eventually does end with every character in the film gathering in one room and taking part in a giant therapy session.  It’s exhausting to watch, largely because it just seems like all of the problems could be solved by people not being stupid or foolishly impulsive.  Ira is neurotic to the point of no longer being sympathetic.  Abby is so perfect and wonderful that you soon get sick of her and her positive attitude.  Even Ted Lasso would tell her to turn it down a notch.

The most frustrating thing about the movie is that it features good actors like Chis Messina but it goes out of its way to sabotage them every chance that it gets.  Out of the large and impressive cast, only Fred Willard and Judith Light manage to transcend the script.  I would have loved to have watched a movie just about their characters.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner
  41. Elektra
  42. Revenge
  43. Legend
  44. Cat Run
  45. The Pyramid
  46. Enter the Ninja
  47. Downhill
  48. Malice
  49. Mystery Date
  50. Zola

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