I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With

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I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Garlin
Written byJeff Garlin
Produced byJeff Garlin
Erin O'Malley
Steve Pink
StarringJeff Garlin
Sarah Silverman
Bonnie Hunt
David Pasquesi
Mina Kolb
CinematographyPeter Biagi
Edited bySteven Rasch
Music byRob Kolson
Distributed byIFC Films
Release dates
  • April 28, 2006 (2006-04-28) (Tribeca)
  • September 5, 2007 (2007-09-05) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.5 million
Box office$194,568

I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With is a 2006 American independent romantic comedy film written, produced, directed by, and starring Jeff Garlin, also featuring Sarah Silverman and Bonnie Hunt. Many improv veterans of Chicago's Second City and even its 1950s predecessor Compass Players appear, as well as Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl in a cameo.


Overweight, depressed improv actor James is a Second City cast member in Chicago. He lives with his mother and cheats on his diet. He quits his acting job on a sleazy television prank show after they fool someone into believing he has a daughter.

James' girlfriend Andrea breaks up with him, and his agent Herb dumps him. When he visits his friend's daughter's elementary school for Career Day, he rambles about his problems, boring the kids, and embarrassing himself in front of the teacher, Stella.

James relaxes in the evenings by lying on the hood of his car parked "in a great spot" beside Wrigley Field, and during the days by walking around the North Side of Chicago with his friend Luca, appreciating the buildings.

While wearing a pirate costume for a hot dog stand, James hears about a Chicago-based remake of Paddy Chayefsky's 1955 Marty, his favorite film, and one that mirrors his adult life. He knows the director but cannot get an audition. After walking out on his Compulsive Eaters Anonymous meeting, James goes to an ice cream parlor, where he meets "big-time hottie" Beth, who recognizes him from Second City and offers him free ice cream. She asks him an obscurely lewd question, which she then cheerfully explains.

James, smitten, returns to the shop, where Beth takes him on adventures, including a shopping trip for her to try on underwear. They meet later after one of his comedy performances. One thing leads to another, and Beth volunteers to return to James's (and his mother's) apartment, where they have sex.

A day later, Beth succinctly dispatches James when he shows up at her apartment. Beth explains that she had just never been with a fat guy. Meanwhile, his role in Marty is given to a clueless young actor, real-life teen idol Aaron Carter.

As the story ends, James moves to his own apartment. He reconnects with Stella, the elementary school teacher, and continues acting.


Production and distribution[edit]

"Garlin struggled to find financing, which twice fell through. He shot it in 18 days, but those days were spread out over two years," reported the Associated Press.[4] IFC Films released the film on a non-traditional schedule, called "IFC First Take", part of IFC in Theaters. It appeared on pay-per-view cable television simultaneously with a limited theatrical release, in September 2007. The DVD followed about seven months later, April 15, 2008. In the meantime, IFC made a deal with Blockbuster, giving the video chain 60 days of exclusive rental and video on demand rights on each film. During interviews on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!, Garlin said that the title bothers Larry David because it ends in a preposition.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 73% of 49 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's consensus reads: "This quirky romantic comedy's realistic depiction of a lonely guy looking for love is sure to please fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin."[5]

The New York Times called the "rambling" film "laid back and affectionate".[6] In an appreciative review, Chicago-based Roger Ebert called it "a minor movie, but a big-time minor movie... If there is such a thing as a must-see three-star movie, here it is."[7] However, John Maynard in The Washington Post scorned the movie, writing, "A better awkward title would be 'Random Events of a Failed Actor Plodding the Streets of Chicago.'"[8]


  1. ^ "Chicago Alumni". The Second City. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  2. ^ "Chicago e.t.c. Alumni". The Second City. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  3. ^ "Compass Alumni". The Second City. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  4. ^ Coyle, Jake (2007-09-13). "Jeff Garlin Steps Out of 'Curb' Shadow". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  5. ^ "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  6. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (2007-09-05). "Seeking Special Someone but Finding a Giant Pirate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 4, 2007). "I'm fat and lonely, oh, lady be gouda". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With". The Washington Post. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2008-03-23.

External links[edit]