Drew (Parker Posey) and Colin (Eric McCormack) are a blissful suburban couple about to invest in a dream home together. The cracks, though, aren’t that hard to find: she’s an artist, he’s buttoned down. She’s impetuous, he’s a planner. She wants a baby, he’s avoiding sex.
So when they hire a kooky architect, Miles Moss (James Frain), he’s just the thing to wiggle between the cracks and push the couple apart. Colin is immediately suspicious of his impractical, ego-driven work. Drew, however, is flattered to be his muse and determined to be a “good client.” But as the two work more and more closely together building this dream home (whose dream is it?), Colin starts to be the third wheel in an awkward little triangle. And he’s footing the bill!
Posey and McCormack have terrific chemistry together – which, in the confines of this story means they have very little, but their awkwardness is funnily unbearable. Although billed as a comedy, The Architect doesn’t have much in the way of jokes, it relies mostly on the absurdity of the situation, which sometimes is a little much. Or, you know, a lot much. Because this movie honestly relies on a lot of clichés. Like, architect as tortured artist. The characters are not so much finely drawn as crayoned stick figures. James Frain has little to do in the way of acting because his scarves tell you he’s a pompous ass.
I kind of love Parker Posey and I wish there was more of her usual satire in this when instead we get some pretty lowball comedy, mostly digs at the narcissism of the middle class. I’d like to give it a little more credit and wonder if perhaps the architect is not just the guy who designs buildings, but also acts as a catalyst to their crumbling marriage – an architect of change, if you pardon how trite that sounds. But the movie didn’t give me enough evidence that they aspired to such heights. And the resolution is so easy that all you can do is shrug your shoulders – it’s hard to care what happens to a marriage when we never knew why they were together in the first place.