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Film Description
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Film Title:
The Pleasure of Your Company

Programme: SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
Director: Michael Ian Black
Country: USA
Year: 2006
Language: English
Time: 90 minutes
Film Types: Colour/HDCAM
Rating: 14A
The Pleasure of Your Company

SCREENING TIMES:  
Sunday, September 10    8:00 PM    VARSITY 8  Buy tickets now
Tuesday, September 12    11:45 AM    VARSITY 8  Buy tickets now
Thursday, September 14    9:15 PM    VARSITY 8  Buy tickets now

Production Company : GreeneStreet Films 
Foreign Sales Agent : GreeneStreet Films 

Executive Producer: Tim Williams, Fisher Stevens, Bruna Papandrea
Producer: John Penotti, Jamie Gordon, Sam Hoffman, Courtney Potts
Screenplay: Michael Ian Black
Cinematographer: Daniel J. Stoloff
Editor: Greg Hayden, Alan Oxman
Production Designer: Carl Sprague
Sound: Lew Goldstein
Music: Peter Nashel
Principal Cast: Jason Biggs, Isla Fisher, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Weston, Edward Herrmann, Rob Corddry

There is a special quality to Michael Ian Black's humour that's tough to define. You might say it's a kind of self-mocking irony tinged with scatological sweetness (if that didn't sound so silly). His talent has been central to much of what's funny on American television these days, including "Reno 911!," his own show "Stella" and the myriad zingers he brings to VH1's "I Love the…" shows. That comic edge has been successfully translated to film and nourished greatly in The Pleasure of Your Company, his feature directorial debut.

The film's jumping-off point is at once zany and achingly dark. Dressed like a campy Cupid, Anderson (Jason Biggs) barges into a busy restaurant where his beautiful blonde girlfriend is dining. In a moment meant to capture the spontaneity of love, he proposes marriage to her. A fragile thing, she collapses of a heart attack and dies on the spot.

Still in a pit of depression a year later, he tells his best friend, Ted (Michael Weston), that he is doomed to live alone. But Ted argues that, hypothetically, the waitress serving them (Isla Fisher) might make a wonderful companion for life. Anderson takes up the dare and pops the question. To everyone's surprise, she says "yes."

A zillion plot twists later, we are still guessing whether they will make it to the altar.

The Pleasure of Your Company turns on the courageous and charming performances of Biggs and Fisher, young actors asked to stretch in entirely new ways here. They play off each other extremely well, evoking a kind of unadorned honesty that makes them surprisingly empathetic. The wonderful cast of supporting players contains many of America's finest character actors, including Joe Pantoliano and Edward Herrmann as the couple's fathers, and a sublime turn by Rob Corddry, of "The Daily Show," as a mushy gay cop.

Bittersweet romantic comedy - especially when laced with moments of contemporary farce - is really tough to pull off. But Black's timing and rhythm is unerringly precise. He takes a sophisticated, adult approach to situations that might otherwise yield cheap laughs. And it really pays off.

- Noah Cowan

Michael Ian Black grew up in Hillsborough, New Jersey and studied acting at New York University. An actor and writer, his career began on the MTV show "The State." He also co-created, co-wrote and performed in the series "Viva Variety" and appeared in "Random Play," "Ed," "Spy TV" and VH1's "I Love the…", as well as in the cult comedy film Wet Hot American Summer (01). In 2005, he created, wrote and performed in the Comedy Central television series "Stella." The Pleasure of Your Company (06) is his feature directorial debut.
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