They're Out of the Business

They're Out of the Business

Diane Davis as April in THEY'RE OUT OF THE BUSINESS, directed by Eric Schaeffer & Donal Lardner Ward. Photo Credit: Marc Blandori, Out of The Business, Inc. A SUNDANCE SELECTS Release.

They're Out of the Business (2011)

Opened: 04/06/2011 Limited

IFC Center04/06/2011 - 04/12/20117 days

Websites: Home

Genre: Comedy

Rated: Unrated


A decade and a half after their seminal indie film launched meteoric filmmaking careers, Splick and Jason find themselves staring at their own individual, premidlife crises. Having not spoken to one another since a late-nineties falling out, they're each grappling with the challenges of stalled careers and relationships, as the hands of time creep ominously past forty-o'clock.

Splick's most recent TV show, centered around his character's perverse relationship with dessert foods, is unceremoniously cancelled by the network, forcing a return to his childhood bedroom at his mother's apartment in New York. Frustrated by a barrage of comments about the "good," "funny," movies he used to make with his old partner, Jason, Splick determines to seek him out and attempt a reunion.

Jason, who has forsaken his Hollywood dreams in lieu of literary achievement, hits a roadblock when his most recent girlfriend evicts him from her plush, village townhouse for allowing his unfocused, eight-hundred page first draft to prevent him from fulfilling even the most basic requirements for relationship participation.

Broke, demoralized and displaced from his own childhood bedroom by his lesbian sister's Lithuanian, green-card husband, Jason reluctantly accepts Splick's rapprochement and together they traverse the rocky road of starting over as grown men, replete with internet dates with porn directors and MMA ring girls, the desperate hope of being rescued by law school, embarrassing reunions with successful, doctor ex-girlfriends while cashing in loose change, and meetings with potential filmmaking partners who will only accept scripts that result in a "family movie with a dog."

Whether or not they succeed at reviving sputtering movie careers, they no doubt help one another crawl from the wreckage of derailed lives and navigate the treacherous waters of love and work in post-economic-meltdown New York City.

Director's Statement

"They're Out Of The Business," is a long gestating follow-up to "My Life's In Turnaround," the early nineties indie that launched our careers. Made in the same spirit, and even tinier budget, the film mines truthful aspects of our lives for comic effect, but also hopes to delve a little deeper. Though we'd discussed doing a follow up to "Turnaround," on a couple of different occasions, the timing finally seemed right. The idea of two guys facing career and romantic setbacks, suddenly finding themselves on the wrong side of forty, seemed to be resonating in post-economic meltdown New York City. People were falling out of what seemed like air-tight careers, worrying about how they were going to survive, at a time when they're usually getting ready to coast into their golden years. The ensuing insecurity seemed to be wreaking havoc on relationships, marriages breaking up all over. Where do you turn? Friends. But who are the ones that are truly going to be there? After making an early contribution to the "bromance," genre, we'd had a falling out and didn't speak for seven years. Literally bumping into each other at our neighborhood gym, both dealing with recent career and romantic challenges, one of us broke the ice by saying, "When are we going to make that damn movie?" The obvious answer was, "now."

--- Eric Schaeffer and Donal Lardner Ward