L for Leisure | Chicago Reader

L for Leisure

As someone who suffered through more poststructuralist theory in college than he would have liked, I had good fun watching this shaggy-dog comedy, though the arcane subject matter makes it an acquired taste. The episodic plot follows a loose-knit group of 20-something professors and grad students over the course of the 1992 and '93. Everyone's drunk on some kind of academic bullshit, and Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn, directing their own script, emphasize how out-of-touch these people are by showing the characters only when they're on vacation. Every episode ends in an anticlimax, with each principal character flirting with the idea of debauchery but never following suit. The visual style is a deadpan parody of early-90s indie filmmaking, while the affectless line-readings of Kalman and Horn's heady dialogue evoke certain politically subversive exploitation films of the 1970s.

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