Your Friends & Neighbors

This static tale about three dysfunctional couples, Neil LaBute’s first feature after In the Company of Men, could be the biggest disappointment of the year. If the mean-spirited characters of the earlier film offered a political provocation, the ones here reek of Carnal Knowledge and early Edward Albee; they seem left over from theater workshops, which is the only place their generic unpleasantness might possibly work. The cast is OK, and LaBute still has an eye, but the uses they’re put to seem contrived and arty. Filmed in ‘Scope; with Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Keener, Nastassja Kinski, Jason Patric, and Ben Stiller. (JR)

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