Dir. Greg Mottola (1996)
In order to truly understand Long Island, whose shores stretch from paragons of tackiness (the Amy Fisher case, Lindsay Lohan's public meltdown) to the snooty wonderland of the Hamptons, you probably have to consider the development of the American suburb. Suburbia first truly thrived in Long Island, and yet the cultural opportunities of New York City are just a day's reach away.
That's the central motif and great divide explored in Greg Mottola's very funny debut film, The Daytrippers, which pivots on a secret love note that heretofore happily married Eliza (Hope Davis) finds one morning. Unfortunately, the note is meant for another. In shock, she and her family (including Anne Meara, Parker Posey doing her best 90s girl, and Liev Schreiber as her literary fiancee) head off in the family station wagon in order to find, and confront, the possibly philandering Louis (Stanley Tucci). It's a road movie set up, and pretty soon our characters are lost in Mahattan, squabbling and mobilized behind Eliza's potential chagrin. Like his subsequent films (Superbad and Adventureland), The Daytrippers shows Mottola's knack for finding the comic in the mundane and the everyday, and his unparalleled ability to turn daily humiliations into something odd and hilarious.
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