“Permanent” is a period piece about the heady days of small-town life in 1982 Virginia. Colette Burson writes and directs this character rich comedy and I dig that. Burson was the co-creator of Hung, which still ranks as one of my favorite HBO shows of the last 18 years. What does that mean for this movie? Not much, other than expect eccentric characters. I wish the plot rose to meet them, but that didn’t quite happen here.
Rainn Wilson plays the dad who brings his family to the middle-of-nowhere Virginia. He’s approaching a new field of study after the Army, but he feels trapped in a lot of the school’s requirements. Patricia Arquette works as a waitress to support the family when she’s not elbowing up to the weird hippie neighbor. Then, there’s little Aurelie who is just trying to grow up with a bad perm.
There a lot of moving pieces for a film that barely breaks 90 minutes. It’s just that it feels like the movie is still in TV mode. It’s fun to build worlds and set up characters. Permanent tried to get that in 90 minutes and fell on its face. The effort is noble, the final film is lacking.
- Deleted/Alternate Scenes
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track