Todd Grinnell, Wes Armstrong, and Ali Hillis in a scene from "Nesting." (Dangertrain Films )
Writer-director John Chuldenko stretches a sitcom episode premise to feature-length breaking point in "Nesting."
Neil (Todd Grinnell) and Sarah (Ali Hillis) star as a pair of ex-hipsters turned rut-stuck marrieds who try to recapture the magic by escaping their under-construction Pasadena home for a few days in their old Silver Lake neighborhood. This includes squatting in their very first apartment, which, whaddya know, just so happens to be vacant.
But life in the bohemian enclave — which the couple treats as if it's 10 states away from Pasadena instead of just 10 miles — proves less idyllic than they remembered, especially when the cops and a brusque landlady (Erin Gray) become involved (long story). What Neil and Sarah ultimately learn from their far-fetched experiment could have been achieved in one honest discussion or, frankly, a decent therapy session.
Grinnell, a Paul Rudd look-alike with an amusingly offhand manner, makes the career-challenged, man-child Neil more sympathetic than he has any right to be. But neither he nor Hillis feels wholly believable as former cool cats, something several brief flashbacks reconfirm.
"Nesting." MPAA rating: PG-13 for a scene of drug use, language and sexual references. Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.