The Argument Image

The Argument

By Bradley Gibson | September 3, 2020

The Argument follows down-on-his-luck scriptwriter Jack (Dan Fogler), who has planned a celebratory after-party for his actor girlfriend Lisa (Emma Bell) to mark her first legitimate performance in a play. He’s invited his agent Brett (Danny Pudi), and Brett’s girlfriend Sarah (Maggie Q). 

Unbeknownst to Jack, Lisa has invited her theatrical co-star, Paul (Tyler James William),  and his girlfriend Trina (Cleopatra Coleman). Jack has been incredibly jealous of Paul, who is the lead in their play about Mozart, called Wolfgang (sounds like an update on Amadeus), where Lisa plays his wife. Jack hates Paul because of the chemistry he has with Lisa on-stage (and maybe off-stage as well).  Jack’s insecurity drives him to make some serious decisions about his relationship with Lisa, and he’s planned the opening night after-party as the perfect time to propose. 

“…Jack hates Paul because of the chemistry he has with Lisa on-stage…”

Paul’s presence ruins his romantic plans for the evening, as Paul and Lisa flirt and act out lurid scenes from the play. Holding down the couch with Brett, Sarah is clearly not a social person and is miserable. Trina gets drunk on the expensive bourbon, while Paul and Lisa are oblivious to everyone else. Jack winds up having a psychotic meltdown that results in the destruction of a pie he baked and everyone fleeing the scene.

When the guests are gone, Jack and Lisa wind up in a fight over who should apologize. They are both furious over the dramatic turn the evening took, and they have wildly different interpretations of how a casual evening of pleasant after-show drinks turned into a dumpster fire. They hit upon the idea to resolve the dispute experimentally, by re-enacting the whole evening to see exactly where it went wrong. Their friends agree to show up the next night, to smooth things over, and Jack insists everyone does and says exactly what they had the night before. Trina is horrifically hungover, but agrees to follow the rules and is soon drunk again on the good bourbon. 

The night ends the same way, with no conclusion as to fault.  So, they do it again, and again, and again night after night. Everyone is too stubborn to quit. It’s like a bottle episode of your favorite TV show on a continuous loop. 

The Argument (2020)

Directed: Robert Schwartzman

Written: Zac Stanford

Starring: Danny Pudi, Dan Fogler, Emma Bell, Maggie Q , etc.

Movie score: 9/10

The Argument Image

"…tight scripting and a strong ensemble cast make this film a new comedy gem."

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