In another unique twist, the parents are played by Jacobs’s own: experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs and his doe-eyed better half, Flo. Furthermore, most of the film unfolds in their cluttered New York loft. As the ageing pair go about their routines (Ken tinkering with video art, Flo cleaning, cooking and doting on her boys), Mikey, with his mobile switched off, rifles through accumulated knick-knacks and attempts to deal with the anxieties surfacing within him as he surges towards middle age.
Beautifully photographed on 16mm and playing like an upside-down riff on ‘Tokyo Story’, Jacobs’s film tracks a dearth of communication between the generations. He emphasises the silent despair felt by parents who are too ill-equipped emotionally and practically to offer help to troubled offspring. Yet, no voices are raised, no plates thrown – instead, awkward pauses and gestures and moments of self-examination give it a rich texture. It’s a lovely work, sad and funny. A melancomedy, if you will.