I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Photos and Video
Curb Your Enthusiam's Jeff Garlin wrote, directed, and stars in this poignant romantic comedy about an overweight, underappreciated Chicago actor in search of a soul mate; or, as one woman (Sarah Silverman) so eloquently puts it, "someone to eat cheese with." James (Garlin) is an underemployed 39-year-old improvisational comedian who lives with his mother in an apartment where Jackie Gleason's Poor Soul always seems to be on television. Ever since his bar mitzvah, he has wanted only three things: someone to love him, a great part, and to lose weight. Unfortunately, he is 0 for 3. His girlfriend dumps him, he loses the title role in a remake of Paddy Chayefsky's Marty to teen idol Aaron Carter, and he sneaks out of an obsessive-overeaters meeting only to wind up at an ice cream parlor. But James doesn't get angry, he just eats. He loads up on fattening snacks from the convenience store run by Dick (Dan Castelleneta), and then he scarfs them down while reclining on top of his car. Still, James keeps plodding along in his amiable way, refusing to surrender. Even the angst is low-key in this highly personal, immensely likable film buoyed by strong supporting performances from Amy Sedaris, Bonnie Hunt, and other alumni from Chicago's famed Second City improv troupe.
Director's Statement Collapse
While on tour with Denis Leary, I started writing I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With. Inspired by Paddy Chayefsky's Marty and Francois Truffaut's character-driven humor (especially Stolen Kisses), the dialogue in my film has more in common with foreign films than American comedies. The humor comes from how people interact with one another, not set-ups or jokes. I aspired to create a distinctive sense of place and community. Shooting the film on location in Chicago played a key role in creating that feeling. I am also proud of the way the film deals with weight issues. Audiences rarely see the vulnerability of a man who uses food to numb himself and cover pain. I've never seen a film about a fat man with no fat jokes. Also important to me was to avoid the cliché of the over-bearing mother by portraying the relationship between James and his mother as both flawed and touching. Thematically, for me anyway, the movie is about how little moments and little steps lead to epiphanies that define your life. I'm sorry this “Directors Statement” wasn't more witty and loose. I wish I didn't have to write one. It's all very embarrassing.
Film Information Collapse
[IWANT] | 2006 | 80 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With)
About the Director(s)Collapse
Born and raised in Chicago and South Florida, Jeff Garlin studied filmmaking and performed stand-up comedy at the University of Miami. He has toured the country as a stand-up comedian, is an alumnus of Chicago's Second City Theatre, and has written and starred in three critically acclaimed solo shows, one of which was adapted for I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With. Garlin has played opposite Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Care and executive produces the award-winning HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which he costars as Larry David's loyal manager. He previously appeared as a series regular on Mad About You and has his own self-titled HBO special. As a director, he has helmed Curb Your Enthusiasm and HBO specials by Jon Stewart and Denis Leary. Garlin lives with his family in Los Angeles. His hobbies include eating pudding and taking naps.