Price CheckFeature Film | Michael Walker By Adrienne McIlvaine
A smart look at love, ambition, and the importance of supermarket strategy.
Price Check, starring the singularly high-strung Parker Posey as an ambitious supermarket strategy executive, is a wryly funny, observant look at the deals we all strike with ourselves when it comes to what we think is important. Softspoken, laid back, and unambitious to a fault, the aptly named Pete Cozy (Eric Mabius) is a former music executive whose growing family led him to take a stable but boring job in the pricing division of an underperforming New York City supermarket chain; Posey's calculating Susan Felders is the Manic Pixie Dream Woman whose arrival challenges Pete's complacent lifestyle, daring him to dream big.
It's a fairly timeworn, Pygmalion-inspired story, but the complexity of the relationship between the bruised, bouyant Susan and the responsibility-averse Peter is what makes Price Check so interesting. She matter-of-factly describes her job as "placing signs where people can see them," a deceptively throwaway line that cuts to the questions of ambition, loyalty, and obligation that underscore the film's bittersweet maturity. Pete's wife Sarah (Annie Parisse) becomes the third wheel to Susan and Pete's intense duo, and her nuanced reaction is refreshingly honest. Posey's natural charm, and her ability to go from tender to tough in a heartbeat, soften Susan's rougher edges and help flesh out a portrait of a lonely but driven woman whose ultimate loyalty is to no one but herself. In the end, everyone is where they imagined they'd be, but the deals they make along the way sometimes mean they're not exactly who they thought they'd be once they get there.
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