Price Check Movie Review
Parker Posey plays a spirited executive and Eric Mabius her right hand man in Price Check, an engaging but emotionally stunted drama that unfortunately never really goes anywhere. Even as I begin this review I have no idea where it will take me, for the movie itself is, ultimately, aimless.
Mabius is Pete Cozy, who works in the pricing department at a struggling supermarket chain. Despite being in debt, he has a happy life with his pretty wife (Annie Parisse) and young son. That all changes when his department gets taken over by Susan Felders (Posey), an ambitious, fast-paced woman who pushes the department beyond its limits. And who takes a more-than-professional liking to Pete.
Price Check is mildly entertaining and thrives off the performances by and oddly satisfying chemistry between Mabius and Posey. Posey's play as a domineering, semi-motivating executive never feels entirely realistic, but then again Susan is, in some ways, meant to be larger than life. Susan is at once inspiring yet unlikable, emotionally raw but simultaneously inaccessible. In the end, Posey does a terrific job, even though it isn't a performance that will win her awards.
Mabius also does a good job playing the straight guy who gets sucked down the rabbit hole that is Susan Felders. Pete's quiet, reserved and rationale mannerisms contrast nicely against his counterpart, and Mabius embodies Pete's qualities well. He is the protagonist we can all relate to, even when he does extremely stupid things.
The movie, written and directed by Michael Walker, moves at a steady pace and keeps things interesting. Walker never establishes up front what the movie is going to be - is it going to be Office Space, Boiler Room or something else entirely? The lack of a defined genre, and Walker's unwillingness to declare whether Price Check is going to be funny, serious, romantic or what, actually works in the movie's favor; you're never sure what direction it is going to go, and unpredictability is a rare treat these days.
Unfortunately, Price Check concludes with the most neutered and uninteresting ending Walker could have possibly written. The last five to ten minutes are so anticlimactic, so uninteresting, so bland and wrap-everything-in-a-nice-tidy-bow-so-everyone-can-live-happily-ever-after-nauseating that they literally ruin all the good stuff that came before them.
Price Check is a good movie, until it isn't. It has a fun streak, a serious one, a sexy angle and family elements, but when all is said and done, Walker takes the movie nowhere.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.