For everyone waiting for the latest news of an “Arrested Development” film, Peep World is ready and available on DVD and Blu-ray. The similarities in the storyline (and to some extent even the structure—Peep World is often peppered with an unseen and omniscient narrator) are easily noticeable. For the most part, however, the characters are much more grounded in reality, and their more accessible issues are less absurd.
At the center of the film is a family, led by a completely uninterested patriarchal figure (Ron Rifkin). His eldest son (Michael C. Hall) gives the appearance of responsibility, attempting to follow in his father’s successful footsteps and starting a family, but he has his own secret addictions in a place called Peep World. The only daughter (Sarah Silverman) is a spoiled drama queen, forever moaning about her own bad luck and the injustice done to her. Joel (Rainn Wilson) is the biggest screw-up of the family, in constant debt due to bad financial decisions. All of these quirks are put into a book written by the youngest son (Ben Schwartz), which causes upheaval in the family during one annual birthday dinner.
The cast works for the film, and the story even has moments of inspiration. The biggest problem is that it veers off in many different directions and only finds focus near the end. Much is left unresolved, or is dismissed when a larger issue comes into the lives of these characters. It is a fairly typical dysfunctional family film in that regard.