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'Man Seeking Woman' review: A strangely amusing search for love

Jay Baruchel stars in

Jay Baruchel stars in "Man Seeking Woman" with Eric Andre and Britt Lower. Photo Credit: FXX / Michael Gibson

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel) just broke up with his longtime girlfriend, and is struggling with the loss. He has emotional support from roommate Mike (Eric André) and his sister, Liz (Britt Lower) but still has to deal with the strange indignities of the single life. For example, he goes on a date with a troll -- a real troll -- and learns his ex is dating the most evil figure in world history. Based on the book "The Last Girlfriend on Earth" by Simon Rich, a former "Saturday Night Live" writer.

MY SAY "Man Seeking Woman" is what would happen if the Farrelly brothers got together with Kafka to create a TV comedy, and then unable to locate the "funny" -- understandably enough -- call in Woody Allen on a script consult.

The Woody Allen of "Without Feathers," his 1975 collection of absurdist stories and sketches ("Idea for story: Some beavers take over Carnegie Hall and perform 'Wozzeck.' ")

"Man Seeking Woman" is indeed a pig with wings, or perhaps a beaver with wings, and the fact that it flies at all -- it does -- is the minor miracle here. It is essentially a trip through Josh's head, although that's not made explicit, and how imaginary flights of lunacy offer either a surcease from sorrow, or a device to understand that sorrow. A lonely hollow space separates Josh from his fellow man -- or woman -- which he fills with the musings of someone using humor, or irony, or fantasy, to banish the melancholy.

  At least I think that's what's going on. Interpretations may vary...

  Nevertheless, the result is something refreshingly new, and bafflingly different. It can be very funny, but also tedious -- not quite sure how to end the joke, or how far to extend it. But for the most part, the trick works well. Kafka would be either amused, or appalled. He wouldn't be bored, and you won't either.

GRADE B+

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