Marriage, to me, is an absolutely insane idea. It may be because I am young, but the idea of two people deciding to be together for the rest of their lives? That goes against evolution as a whole and what our natural instincts are (natural instincts being “bang as many people as humanly possible with little to no discretion”). Ira and Abby, a 2006 independent romantic comedy, seems to be in agreement: marriage, as an institution, isn’t the best idea.
Chris Messina stars as Ira, a psychology graduate student in New York City full of neuroses and on the outs with his girlfriend of the past eight years, Lea (Maddie Corman). After being dumped by his psychologist due to the fact no progress has been made, he makes his way to the Paris Health Club to renew his membership when he meets a worker there named Abby (Jennifer Westfeldt, who also wrote the screenplay). Abby is different from Ira; while he is scared of everything, she is fearless and she is free-spirited.
After talking for over six hours, Abby proposes that they get married. Ira, being the realist that he is, is against it, seeing how his crappy his parents’ relationship is (they are also psychologists…this is a running theme, so get ready). However, being the persuasive woman she is, he gives in and they get engaged right off the bat. Their parents have differing opinions on this. Ira’s parents, Arlene (Judith Light) and Seymour (Robert Klein), think this is a foolish idea. Abby’s parents, jingle writer Michael (Fred Willard) and his doting wife Lynne (Frances Conroy), seem to think it is a wonderful idea. A week later, Ira and Abby are newlyweds.
Cracks begin to appear quickly though, as Ira’s neuroses about marriage and love begin to manifest themselves. The two seek the counseling of a host of psychologists to solve their marital issues, played by the likes of Jason Alexander and Chris Parnell. As this goes on, Michael becomes increasingly attracted to Arlene and vice versa and they become involved in a secret affair. As Ira and Abby struggle to keep their relationship together, their parents also try to hold together the foundations of their own marriages against insurmountable odds.