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A Sense of Family in “Momma’s Man”

A Sense of Family in "Momma's Man"

I had the pleasure of seeing “Momma’s Man” at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and now you have the pleasure of taking in the indie gem this weekend.

Check out my coverage from the film’s premiere at Park City 2008 below:

A Sense of Family in “Momma’s Man”

Along with “Ballast,” another intimate indie here at Sundance featuring non-professional actors — an intimate look at family dynamics — and a setting that also doubles as a main character is Azazel Jacobs‘ excellent “Momma’s Man,” which tells the story of Mikey, a young man who returns to the comfort of his parents and the home where he grew up instead of rejoining his own wife and newborn baby in Los Angeles.

[“Momma’s Man” producer Hunter Gray, Director Azazel Jacobs and lead actor Matt Boren after the Q&A of their film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by James Israel/indieWIRE.]

The Tribeca loft featured in the film became the initial inspiration for this unusual project that weaves autobiographical elements of Jacobs own life along with the familiar notion of regressing to the comfort of one’s childhood to avoid the responsibilities that we all gain by becoming adults. “A lot of the story came from trying to figure out how to hold onto that place,” said Jacobs in a Q&A after a screening earlier this week. “Everytime I go back there I stay at my folks house and I wake up to coffee and cereal and why did I leave here? I made this (film) to remind myself.”

Jacobs’ parents crowded, treasure of wonders loft is not the only thing from the director’s life to be featured in the film. Commenting on how he cast his own two artist parents, who are non-professional actors, to play the role of Mikey’s mother and father in the film, Azazel said, “The parents didn’t really come into it until later when I realized I couldn’t separate my parents from that place.”

Matt Boren, who plays the Mikey in the film and is a trained actor from NYU‘s Tisch School of the Arts, also felt the magic of shooting with Azazel’s parents. “When we finished shooting the film I would stay up late dreaming about this incredible loft. It was like I always visualized Aza’s Dad like a Willy Wonka and I thought if he pulled a book out that the walls were gonna change and I’d fall into something.” [James Israel]

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