By Don R. Lewis | January 24, 2006

Writer/Director Jeff Lipsky’s “Flannel Pajamas” seeks to show us what a real relationship is like. Starting at the beginning and following it all the way through to the end, whatever that end may be. The thing is, these chatty, pedantic, annoying characters are simply not interesting enough to follow for five minutes, let alone over two hours.

The film opens with a group on a date. We meet Stewart and Nicole and they meet for the first time as well. After getting to know one another, they profess “like” and away we go. And go and go and go. I appreciate the fact that Lipsky seemed to be wanted to put a microscope on a relationship to see all the nuances and ebbs and flows. It’s a good idea. However, it seems he got so wrapped up in the minutiae, he glosses over really important character development.

Minor charaters that have serious impact on Stewart and Nicole come in and out and behave strangely. They’re either angels or devils, depending on the scene. There’s no consistency. Stewart morphs into a control freak and Nicole gets everything she wants from Stewart and it’s still not enough. Watching “Flannel Pajamas” is like being stuck on a cruise ship with a couple you wish you could throw overboard.

In short, I simply did not understand what the relationship was based on. What made it tick? What made it go south? It’s never explained and it needs to be if we’re expected to care about these characters.

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