Writer-director Jeff Lipsky's "Twelve Thirty" is an ambitious ensemble piece in which every actor is able to shine and every character is a master of the well-turned phrase. It is a film that gradually draws the viewer into its thrall and builds to an unpredictable but effective climax.
Two former high school classmates, Jeff (Jonathan Groff) and Mel (Portia Reiners), find themselves working at the same restaurant. Jeff is a shy, awkward rich kid with a crush on the sensuous, confident Mel; he gradually becomes entangled with her family, falling into a nest of expert manipulators. There's Mel's alienated older sister Maura (Mamie Gummer), whose friend Irina (Halley Feiffer) all but forces Maura on Jeff, and there's the siblings' sexually uninhibited mother (Karen Young) and their gay father (Reed Birney), who still has trysts with his ex-wife.