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Opposites attract in indie comedy

January 27, 2008|Gina McIntyre

'Ira and Abby'

Magnolia, $26.98

"Ira and Abby" is one of those sweet indie comedies about two unlikely people who meet cute -- and neurotic -- but manage to be entirely likable anyway. The fact that the characters are as endearing as they are shouldn't be too surprising since the script was penned by "Kissing Jessica Stein's" Jennifer Westfeldt, who plays adorable free spirit Abby to Chris Messina's psychoanalysis-obsessed Ira. While the end might devolve into a slightly off-kilter take on wedded bliss, the supporting cast, featuring Jason Alexander and the always superb Fred Willard, compensate. Good thing too, since extras are few, aside from the traditional commentary track and deleted scenes. Consider the chance to catch this overlooked gem the real extra.

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'Right at Your Door'

(Lionsgate, $27.98)

Los Angeles residents might find "Right at Your Door" a little more frightening than anyone else -- the movie postulates what might happen in the wake of multiple terror attacks during the heavily trafficked morning commute. With strong performances from Mary McCormack and Rory Cochrane as a couple grappling with possible exposure to deadly toxins, the thriller hits uncomfortably close to home. Extras are relatively sparse, though writer-director Chris Gorak offers some tips on independent filmmaking and explains the origins of the project in two separate featurettes. The alternate endings, presented here in script form, really aren't so different, which is fair enough considering that Gorak concludes "Right at Your Door" with a twist worthy of "The Sixth Sense" director M. Night Shyamalan.

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'The Nines'

Sony, $24.96

Prolific screenwriter John August stepped behind the camera for the first time to direct his own script for "The Nines," a complicated indie that's essentially three short films starring Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy as different characters in stories that ultimately collide. In some ways, the film, which debuted at Sundance last year, is a more challenging, mostly Hollywood-set take on August's first produced screenplay, 1999's "Go," but it proved a little too much of a head-scratcher to capture much in the way of box office, despite some fairly strong reviews. August pleads his case on two commentary tracks, and the DVD also includes a short film August directed, "God Short Film," among other extras.

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Also look for...

"Damages: Season One" (Sony, $49.95); "Drumline" special edition" (Fox, $19.98); "Trade" (Lionsgate, $27.98)

-- Gina McIntyre

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