Price Check is interesting, thought-provoking and contains a third act plot twist that might just make you sit straight up in your seat, wondering “where did that come from”.
Eric Mabius is “Pete Cozy” and the name implies where he is and where he isn’t in his life. He’s comfortable in his job as a marketing specialist for a struggling supermarket chain at their regional headquarters on Long Island, yet he longs to return to the music industry. He wants to do work that makes him happy, which his current position does not. He’s married and they have a young son, a mortgage and are struggling financially.
The film opens with Pete’s boss leaving the company and on his way out the door, letting Pete know that his last act was to give him a small raise. He also lets Pete know that the woman who is coming in to take over is a real “ball-buster”. Enter Parker Posey as “Susan Felders”, an enthusiastic and energetic0 woman who seems to be brutally honest. She’s also profane and prone to fits of rage and other strong emotions. She immediately warms to Pete and quickly makes him her confidante. She also manages to worm her way into Pete’s home life, even inviting herself to their son’s school Halloween party.
Susan plans to turn things around by bringing in an outside consultant, something her budget doesn’t allow for, so she makes it possible by doing something Pete doesn’t approve of. When her boss, “Mr. Bennington” (Edward Hermann) tries to stop her from implementing her plan, she insists that Pete accompany her to the Los Angeles headquarters of the parent company, to sell their plan. Bennington finds Pete to be a winner and drops hints of a job offer and eventually the board signs off on the plan. But they give Susan a nearly impossible deadline to meet in implementing these changes.
Upon their return, Susan and Pete work frantically to meet this deadline. Price Check’s best scenes by far are in that final act, which was brilliantly scripted by writer/director Michael Walker.
One of the things that makes this film work as well as it does is that it sounds like “real” grocery chain-speak being spoken. It also benefits from fine performances by everyone with more than a minor role in the film. Posey is particularly stellar, proving once again that she is the reigning Queen of indie film and needs to be in more of them.