CINEMA: BACK CHAT

KICKING AND SCREAMING PUTS NEW LIFE INTO URBAN COMEDY

ONCE IT WAS THE UN-GENRE; now it is in danger of overpopulation. We speak of the postmodern comedy of manners, in which hyperarticulate twentysomethings talk--and talk and talk--about the imminent threat of becoming thirtynothings. They are the Sons of Seinfeld, and among the brightest of their number is Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming, the little fable of half a dozen or so college grads. It's an upmarket Clerks, a less fraught Jeffrey, Barcelona with a faster pulse--or maybe Friends on PBS. Grover (Josh Hamilton) doesn't want his girlfriend Jane (Olivia d'Abo) to go study in Prague--she'll "come back a bug." Max...

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