When T. S. Eliot touted the “goal correlative”—the precept that emotion in artwork needs to be expressed via objects or occasions—he in all probability didn’t envision a settee. However in Noa Osheroff’s comedic quick “Couch So Good,” from 2020, the living-room staple, or its absence, is each a story engine and an entry level into the principle character’s psyche.
Abeer, a younger, jobless New Yorker, spends the period of the film zealously in search of a sofa for her house. She used to have one, however her ex-boyfriend took it after they cut up. Her quest leads her again to him, briefly, and likewise on a Craigslist goose chase and an ill-advised Tinder date.
For Osheroff, who wrote and directed the movie, Abeer’s misadventures are quintessentially New York. Upon transferring to town, Osheroff recalled, she had many “New York moments”—quirky encounters and discoveries that appeared like one thing out of a comedy. “You hear about folks with bizarre professions, otherwise you go to Craigslist and also you attempt to discover one thing and also you get one thing utterly totally different. At first, you’re shocked each time it occurs. After which it’s, like, O.Okay., it’s New York,” she mentioned.
It’s becoming, then, that her movie is peopled by comedians. (Osheroff, the founder and host of a standup present, solid a number of of her friends.) The standup performer Nataly Aukar brings deadpan disaffection to the function of Abeer; Comedy Central’s Tom Thakkar is a goofy dog-hiker (not walker!) whom she goes out with; the comic, actor, and d.j. Omri Anghel performs an excessively pleasant Craigslist stranger who guarantees a sofa and produces a trampoline. Maybe most triggering for New Yorkers who’ve shared flats is the character of Karen, Abeer’s roommate. Fiercely incarnated by the author and comic Ashley Hamilton, she’s a real “Karen,” equal components self-regard and self-righteousness. “Now, if you happen to’ll excuse me,” she says, seconds earlier than slamming her bed room door in Abeer’s face, “I’m going to go watch porn with my headphones on, as a result of I’m thoughtful like that.”
After this pageant of loopy, Abeer may use a respite. What she will get is a go to from her mom (performed by Hiam Abbass, of “Ramy” and “Succession”), who presents consolation like solely a mom can. Perched on a stack of throw pillows, in lieu of a sofa, she pulls cans of beans from her purse for Abeer. “I’m not nervous about you,” she declares, after studying of her daughter’s woes. “Actually?” Abeer asks. “Actually. You haven’t any job, no fiancé, and no couch. You don’t have anything to lose.”
This tough-nosed optimism could resonate with pandemic-scarred New Yorkers. On the very least, “I actually hope the film will make them giggle, particularly after a 12 months like ,” Osheroff mentioned. For her, the movie is “a reminder of how New York was once, but additionally a reminder that New York by no means stays the identical.” Even when we had a settee as soon as, possibly we will stay with a trampoline.