Things look normal: Henry (Liam Mitchell) and Patricia (Barbara Bleier) are celebrating Patricia’s birthday with their friends – Patricia’s ex Julian (Austin Pendleton), Chris (David Johnson) and Ayden (Juri Henley-Cohn) who both have found surrogate parents in Henry and Patricia, and Ayden’s partner Breyanna (Suzette Gunn). As their talking turns to politics, it becomes clear, though, that tensions are high and ouright nuclear war seems just around the corner.
Usually nuclear war is used in films to conjure up a post-apocalyptic scenario, or it is used as a threat that the (action) heroes of the story have something to prevent. In Sunset’s case, it’s the backdrop for a thorough and thoughtful character study that stumbles sometimes, but remains engaging throughout.
Isabella (Imogen Poots) is a rising star and as such, she gives an interview about how she made it big: how she met director Arnold (Owen Wilson) when she was working as a call girl, how he offered her a lot of money that she may be able to follow her dreams and stop working as a call girl; how they ran into each other at an audition the very next day; how Arnold’s wife and lead actress Delta (Kathryn Hahn), her co-star Seth (Rhys Ifans) and writer Joshua (Will Forte) were immediately taken by her acting talent; and how she got the job, including the ensuing awkwardness.
She’s Funny That Way could have been a charming, old-school screwball comedy, but unfortunately it was a little too boring to really be charming or funny.