1001 The Daytrippers

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
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1001 The Daytrippers

#1 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:52 pm

The Daytrippers

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With its droll humor and bittersweet emotional heft, the feature debut of writer-director Greg Mottola announced the arrival of an unassumingly sharp-witted new talent on the 1990s indie scene. When she discovers a love letter written to her husband (Stanley Tucci) by an unknown paramour, the distraught Eliza (Hope Davis) turns to her tight-knit Long Island family for advice. Soon the entire clan—strong-willed mom (Anne Meara), taciturn dad (Pat McNamara), and jaded sister (Parker Posey) with pretentious boyfriend (Liev Schreiber) in tow—has squeezed into a station wagon and headed into Manhattan to find out the truth, kicking off a one-crazy-day odyssey full of unexpected detours and life-changing revelations. Performed with deadpan virtuosity by a top-flight ensemble cast, The Daytrippers is a wry and piercing look at family bonds stretched to the breaking point.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Greg Mottola, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring Mottola, editor Anne McCabe, and producer Steven Soderbergh
• New interviews with Mottola and cast members Hope Davis, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, and Campbell Scott
The Hatbox, a 1985 short film by Mottola, with audio commentary by the director
• PLUS: An essay by critic Emily Nussbaum

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#2 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:57 pm

New Soderbergh commentary!!!

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swo17
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#3 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm

One of the great movies about mirrors

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domino harvey
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#4 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:21 pm

I do hope this ends any future speculation that Criterion cares about spine numbers

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Gregory
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#5 Post by Gregory » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:42 pm

This is a pleasant surprise, a film I like quite a lot and will enjoy see getting its just desserts. It's remained an unjustly obscure mid-90s film. for example, it appears to have 22 reviews on Amazon, whereas Mottola's next feature, Superbad, has 753. And it sorely needed a fresh release, as the old DVD was reformatted to 1.33:1.

I remembered there being some discussion of this movie in this thread by Cold Bishop, The Disintegrating Comedy. Looking through it again, there's less discussion of The Daytrippers than I thought, but it's an interesting framework in which to think about the film.

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jazzo
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#6 Post by jazzo » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:18 pm

What a cover by the great R. Kikuo Johnson!!

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#7 Post by bearcuborg » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:32 pm

I saw this because of a Woody Allen interview, where he wondered where the filmmakers found the energy to shoot this in 2 weeks. I suppose that’s a reasonable question, but I never saw anything interesting in this movie that made it more than passable. Still, I have a fondness for 90s indie cinema, so I’m curious about the commentary and interviews.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#8 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:46 pm

I tried this again after a forgettable first watch years ago, and found it much more amusing with some cute and dry comic moments. I was left wanting more from some of the scenes that populated the trip, which could be thin or scarce, falling short in potential at times for the possibilities of colorful interactions in pit stops with this family. The ending was very strong, however, and the film overall felt very genuine to its characters and their behaviors, who embodied the authentic quirks and honest responses, humorous and dramatic, that fleshed them out as real people in such a short runtime. I don’t know if I’d pick this up on its own but with the extras, especially that new commentary, this looks like a great package.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#9 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:21 am

I watched this earlier in the week. Thankfully this won’t be a blind buy. I’m usually a big fan of New York centric films, but this one left me flat. Ann Meara summoned up her version of an unlikeable Edith Bunker. It had moments but mostly I just didn’t find the humor. The dramatic reveal of an ending was the best and most effective part of the film.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#10 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:31 pm

Well, I enjoyed this more than the previous couple of posters, but it's certainly of a piece with some of the other mid-90s American indies in the collection, if anyone's trying to gauge how much they'd enjoy this. It's a film carried by the cast, and with a cast like this, that's fine. I thought Liev Schreiber and Anne Meara were the standouts-- I was surprised to read Ebert's review after watching and all he does is harp on about how annoying he found Meara. Maybe I'm just related to too many people like her character so my filter is high, but I didn't find her anything but authentic (and how dead-on are moments like her offering Schreiber "a slice of Entenmann's-- it was on sale"?). Scheiber's faux-intellectual gets most of the best lines here, and his idiotic diatribe on why American should bring back the aristocracy is probably what Whit Stillman films sound like to those not on his wavelength. Campbell Scott plays perfectly to type as the actual intellectual asshole who quite easily takes Schreiber down a few pegs for sport late in the film and, like the Adventures of Pete and Pete, he and the others are why the film is practically a who's who of American indie film of the period. Another good Thanksgiving film to add to the pile too!

Also, the cover's even better now that I've seen the scene represented-- it's the funniest moment of the film and definitely a good choice but one I would have thought difficult to relay artistically in one image, so extra kudos awarded to the artist.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#11 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:23 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:31 pm
I thought Liev Schreiber and Anne Meara were the standouts-- I was surprised to read Ebert's review after watching and all he does is harp on about how annoying he found Meara. Maybe I'm just related to too many people like her character so my filter is high, but I didn't find her anything but authentic (and how dead-on are moments like her offering Schreiber "a slice of Entenmann's-- it was on sale"?). Scheiber's faux-intellectual gets most of the best lines here, and his idiotic diatribe on why American should bring back the aristocracy is probably what Whit Stillman films sound like to those not on his wavelength.
Schreiber's character is indeed a scene-stealer, and during my last watch I found myself rewinding most of his bits where he goes off on his novel or sociopolitical utopia. As I've reflected on the film, I've come around to seeing the characters' respective ranges of development as much more full and satisfying. The only aspect I previously felt critical of was the limitations to what we're offered to delve into these people and their relationships, but we really get a lot more than is on the surface and these 'limitations' actually feel like strengths. Like domino I thought Meara was spot-on and the development of the other characters in relation to her, with her remaining stagnant, was incredibly realistic for these types of people and how their dynamics shift and don't shift in the family system. Parker Posey's nuanced changes as she ventures from blind love, sees her partner's flaws and self-actualizes just a degree to the right is also a far cry from the 180 degree turns most of these roles turn to in filmic narratives, but it was one of the more authentic changes depicted and one that needed no more screentime to demonstrate its power. The final confrontation hits on the difficulty of breaking free from, and contesting with one's own relationship dynamics in a marriage, and seems to understand the therapeutic notion that each participant in a dynamic is getting something from that even if it's unmanageable. The exchange between Davis and Tucci is layered with this, a disruption of more than just comfort in content, or the act of having such a discussion, but even more unbearable is the disabling of the comfort in the safety of deep-rooted roles, likely ones they've been playing (at least for Davis based on the information we get) for much longer than the time they've known one another, as is often the case. If read this way, the ending is one of the more liberating I've seen in a film with a strong sense of reality, though it's so modestly executed like the temperature of the rest of the film that I'd never have thought of it off hand.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#12 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:43 pm

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the serious turn of the last act, which seemed a little more whiplash-y to me watching it last night.
SpoilerShow
I thought it was interesting how Posey and Tucci are both shown to double-down on their lies to their partners when caught red-handed in the finale, and there's some degree to which we have both sympathy and understanding for their transgressions and disapproval for their methods/dishonesty. I thought Tucci's appeal to Davis, that she needs to help him, completely oblivious in his own struggle to what that struggle will do / has done to his wife, is a sad and honest moment of truth, and a real insight into the mind of a cheater (as are lines like Tucci trying to softshoe his behavior with "I've been with him for like six months, since December," to which Davis replies, "That's a year!"). It's also not for nothing that Posey's would-be affair is with someone who's just like her current beau with an espresso-shot of arrogance (hey, we all have a type), though, in contrast to Tucci stepping out with someone who registers as far as possible from his wife, at least in the central part that both characters seem to struggle with. I think in an era when indie films were tackling gay issues with more honesty and warmth, it's interesting to see the reveal present an appropriate complexity with regards to this kind of marital transgression.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#13 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:56 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:43 pm
SpoilerShow
I thought it was interesting how Posey and Tucci are both shown to double-down on their lies to their partners when caught red-handed in the finale, and there's some degree to which we have both sympathy and understanding for their transgressions and disapproval for their methods/dishonesty. I thought Tucci's appeal to Davis, that she needs to help him, completely oblivious in his own struggle to what that struggle will do / has done to his wife, is a sad and honest moment of truth, and a real insight into the mind of a cheater
SpoilerShow
This moment with Tucci is the most genuine and grating in the entire film I think because although we want to judge, and part of us must judge given our objective angle and slight allegiance to Davis, he’s pleading not for her to unsee his lies (part of him must be relieved to be caught) but to get his role back. Tucci senses that he’s losing the safety of his position in the dynamic and being ejected from the familiar is horrific and unthinkable, triggering his desperation. I was left feeling Davis’ liberation but equally shaken by the brief yet uncomfortably authentic slice of Tucci’s existential crisis to prevent complete catharsis, which is to the film’s benefit in restraining its energy from venturing from the established humility in tone.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#14 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:16 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:31 pm
I was surprised to read Ebert's review after watching and all he does is harp on about how annoying he found Meara. Maybe I'm just related to too many people like her character so my filter is high, but I didn't find her anything but authentic (and how dead-on are moments like her offering Schreiber "a slice of Entenmann's-- it was on sale"?).
I'm all too familiar with this type. NYC (more the boroughs and suburbs) is a breeding ground for this type. My dad's girlfriend is like this. As someone who has heard this kind of cadence and verbal mannerism all my life, Ann Meara does do a terrific job at nailing this, but I have to admit that I have no patience for women like this in person, and seeing it on film is grating as well. I do think though that Meara's character's actions in the final section of the film were a little over the top

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#15 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:01 pm


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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:32 am


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domino harvey
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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#17 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:41 am

Who in the world but Pro-B could watch this movie and decide it was a good op to whine about Abel Ferrara

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#18 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:19 am

The best (worst) part is at the end we get a nice “(This is how I view his absence from the Collection),” parentheses and all, as if we needed a reminder of the thesis summary for Svet’s brief inappropriate detour from all of two sentences earlier. This is what the conclusion paragraph would probably look like if third graders took a crack at five-paragraph essays.
(In the end, this is what I felt was the best, or worst, part of the review).

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#19 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Still finding it hard to assimilate the star-rating of the release being based on the reviewer's liking of the film as opposed to the technical merits. If you enjoy the film and have been waiting for a quality release of it to emerge, I guarantee you will be very happy with the new 4K makeover that was prepared and used to source the Blu-ray. It is wonderful. Score = 3 stars.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#20 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:55 pm

I was shocked to learn in the extras that this film only cost $60,000 (and $10k of that randomly came from James L Brooks for a backend cut two days before shooting started after he failed to get Mottola to stop production, take his notes, and recast [?!] the film at the nth hour)

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#21 Post by Gregor Samsa » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:42 am

Watched this last night and thought it was well-structured and quite assured for a first feature, especially with its incredibly short shooting schedule (Parker Posey mentions in the features that she thought they would have needed several more days to make it work). While moving into more dramatic territory in the final scenes, it has real charm that is added to nicely by the special features. The commentary is very good with some entertaining digressions including Thelma Schoonmaker's thoughts on strict editorial continuity, and the interviews are very endearing, with the Hope Davis one even including a brief post-credits scene with some of her and Mottola's least favourite modern cinematic cliches.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#22 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:40 pm

Revisiting this yet again I was struck by all of the dynamics drawn that involved people "putting up with" or to put it more gently, coping with, family/loved ones and the stress, complacency, and value in this passive action that may be more active internally than characters let on. There is of course the central marriage which blows up, crossing a line, but before then there is a history of coping that has been taking place before the film began as well as a passivity in Davis assuming the best with anxiety. Posey is putting up with her arrogant boyfriend, and ultimately finds this to be worthwhile, even if she also finds a brief release of escapism that mirrors Tucci's more committed one, validating the urge to get away from binding relationships that in nature have tension that repels as well as connective energy that binds. The central family obviously has this all over their faces with the father coping with the mother (well everyone coping with her really) brewing clear agitation, but it's the father/son duo they encounter by happenstance and the reveal that the son is standing by his father who wasn't there for him at the risk of alienating his mother ("harboring a fugitive" as he puts it) under an ideological value of family, complacent fear, or empathy for a loved one I'm not sure, but I believe it can be all and more in the complexities of family dynamics. For a seemingly clean drifting indie comedy, there is a lot of substance here, with a morally relativist take on where selfishness/empowerment and selflessness/sacrifice begin and end, with loyalty to oneself vs others as a key grey area, and I'm liking this more and more each time I watch it.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#23 Post by knives » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:19 pm

This is a good one and Dom summed up my thoughts quite well though kudos really should be given to Pat McNamara who quietly does as good a job representing that sort of character as Meara does hers. It's a really funny performance that doesn't manage to get lost despite him saying what felt like only ten lines. Though the standout scene for me was between Meara and Sandy in terms of just delivering pure laughs.

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Re: 1001 The Daytrippers

#24 Post by zedz » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:22 pm

I was 100% sure I’d seen this film when it was on the festival circuit, but nothing rang any bells, so I must have mistaken it for a much less charming on-the-loose-in-New-York indie comedy.

This is something of a prototype for a bunch of lazier films cruising on self-conscious wackiness, but had the advantage of more solid writing, much better acting that wasn’t just about surface eccentricities, and a core of believable relationships. It was also very smart about turning its budgetary constraints into positives: leaning heavily on the actors’ rapport and keeping things mobile by taking the difficult decision of staging so much in and around the car.

This release had a great set of extras that showed the team spirit was still strong after so many years.

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