No one knows better than millennials what it feels like to be overqualified for work, and be jobless. Our parents said to get a degree and everything would work out, but too many of us didn’t get degrees in the “right” fields and have been left either jobless for years post-graduation due to market over-saturation, or holding degrees which are essentially worthless in field which are no longer hiring.
In this unique comedy-drama, we meet young married couple Alice (Juno Temple) and John (Michael Angarano). John’s working a dead-end job that he hates and Alice has been aggressively, unsuccessfully job-hunting for almost a year. Most of their friends are doing well, with the exception of Alice’s best friend, Louise (Alia Shawkat), who works at the mall food court, and her husband.
Alice and John can barely make ends meet until one day, while driving home, Alice demands that John pull over at an antique shop, where she finds a brass teapot and, being unable to afford it, steals it from the old woman who runs the shop. Shortly after, Alice accidentally discovers that this teapot generates money when anyone near it is hurt.
Soon, Alice and John’s money problems are a thing of the past, as they engage in various forms of self-harm, kinky sex, and attendance of violent sporting events to soothe their financial burdens. But there are a couple of obstacles standing between ALice and John and financial freedom; the shop owner’s grandson’s, Hassidic Jews who are angry that the teapot their grandmother held onto through WWII has been stolen, and who are intent on collecting what they see as their inheritance, and Alice and John’s former slumlord. Suddenly, keeping the money they’ve made proves much more difficult than they originally thought. The stakes are raised even higher as they realize that they have to go to further extremes the longer that they own the teapot.
As we watch this couple grapple with ethics while trying to survive capitalism and keep their marriage strong, we must ask ourselves exactly how far we are willing to go in a culture where money can buy you just about anything, including peace of mind, and just what we are willing to do to ourselves, and anyone who gets in the way of that goal. Often humorous an surprisingly thought-provoking, The Brass Teapot is every millenial’s wet dream.
I give this one 4 stars.