Ira & Abby
|Ira & Abby|
|Directed by||Robert Cary|
|Produced by||Brad Zions|
|Written by||Jennifer Westfeldt|
|Music by||Marcelo Zarvos|
|Edited by||Phillip J. Bartell|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
Ira & Abby is a 2006 American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Cary and released in the United States by Magnolia Pictures. The poignant love story stars Chris Messina and Jennifer Westfeldt (who also wrote the screenplay) in the title roles, and co-stars Fred Willard, Frances Conroy, Jason Alexander, Robert Klein Judith Light and a small early role by Jon Hamm as Ronnie.
The film follows the story of Ira Black, a 33-year-old psychology Ph.D. candidate with therapist parents. Black has been in an on-and-off relationship with Leah for the past nine years and is, as he confides to his therapist, unsatisfied with their relationship on many levels. It is implied that they two have the same conversation every time Black comes to the office. His therapist then informs him that their 12 years of doctor-patient relationship must come to a close as therapy clearly isn't helping him. The therapist encourages Black to be spontaneous, finish his dissertation, and do things he wouldn't normally do.
Ira goes to his favorite cafe and struggles (as usual) to order. After flip-flopping several times, he finally orders. While he's eating his meal, he looks across the street to see a gym and remembers that Leah found him overweight. After his meal, he goes to the gym and makes an appointment for a tour with the irritating receptionist and waits 45 minutes before Abby arrives to show him around.
Initially irritated with the long wait, Ira is soon struck by Abby's ability to be involved in other people's lives. She seems to know everyone at the gym and be a trusted source of advice and a good listening ear. She gives Ira a terrible tour, but they somehow hit it off and spend the next six hours talking in the unused yoga room.
Through their conversation, Ira discovers that Abby lives with her parents who are musicians. She is a great believer in people's goodness and always wants to help others. At the end of their conversation, she proposes marriage to Ira, who is initially shocked. After a bit though, he agrees and the two consummate their engagement in her office.
At the end of the day, both Ira and Abby return home to tell their parents of their engagement. Ira's parents are upset that it's not Leah, and Abby's are extremely excited and begin to plan their daughter's wedding right away. Later that night, Ira and Abby talk about their future and make an agreement to have sex every day.
The two marry on the patio of Abby's family's brownstone in a small ceremony and spend the evening chatting inside. When they attempt to return to Ira's apartment to enjoy their wedding night, the car they hired breaks down. Desperate to enjoy each other, the two take the subway from a bad neighborhood. They are mugged at gunpoint on the way, and Abby steps up to face the mugger and offer him the money he needs. Ira is scared at first, and then proud of his new wife.
Over the next weeks, Ira and Abby adjust to being married and enjoy shopping for their apartment. They attend the movies and awkwardly run into Leah, which brings Ira's worries about Abby to the front of his mind. The two begin marriage counseling. At the same time, Ira's mother and Abby's father begin to have an affair after Ira's mother begins a voice-over career. When the families take a holiday picture (Abby's family's tradition), Ira learns that Abby was married twice before. Angry that she didn't tell him, Ira asks for and gets an annulment. After returning to Dr. Friedman (his old therapist) and realizing how much he loves Abby, Ira proposes again, and the two remarry.
After the second wedding, with the two ex-husbands in attendance, things seem to get better. One day, Abby meets Leah at the gym, and Leah confides in her that she misses her ex. Not realizing that she is talking about Ira, Abby offers her advice — that she should get in contact with him for closure. Not long after that, Abby goes to dinner with one of her ex-husbands. Ira is extremely worried, so he takes Leah up on her offer for drinks. The two go to her apartment and kiss. Guilt-racked Ira returns home to find Abby sobbing on their couch, afraid that he was cheating and emotionally rattled from her dinner. The next day, Leah and Abby meet for lunch and discuss their evenings. When Ira walks in to meet Abby, the two women realize that he is the man they are both talking about.
Following this latest escapade, Abby pulls all of the therapists that she, her parents, Ira, and Ira's parents have ever used into one room for a giant session. After a while, Ira and Abby realize that they can put their differences aside and love each other. The film ends with the two of them divorcing and vowing to love each other.
- "Out of His Navel and Into a Life" - The New York Times
- "Too-cute 'Ira & Abby' needs a little help" - The Boston Globe
- Cinema Clock