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Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, March 16, 2012, Screens

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
Narrative Spotlight
D: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass; with Steve Zissis, Mark Kelly

Filmed in 2009 and back-burnered when Cyrus was greenlit, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is Jay and Mark Duplass' good-natured comment on modern malaise. For twitchy family man Mark (Zissis) and lone-wolf poker pro Jeremy (Kelly), two estranged brothers reunited over a birthday weekend at their mother's house, disquiet is best hammered out through clandestine midnight ping-pong tournaments and arm-wrestling matches as they conduct a private 25-event Olympics. The argument seems to be that when we say, "I eat good food, but I need to work on portion control" or "I'm kinda bored with my job; I'm ready to move on to something else," we express a much deeper, complicated anxiety; for Mark and Jeremy, that anxiety is rooted in a grass-is-always-greener envy of each other's lives. Despite a slow start, the New Orleans-set film is funny, sensitive, and expertly acted/improvised, a loving portrait of a sibling rivalry with healing properties.

Friday, March 16, 9:45pm, Stateside

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