Person to Person is an odd New York centric dramedy about a random group of locals whose lives in this one single day loosely overlap. They are small people whose real common thread is that they all make a great deal out of what boils down to being very little indeed.
There is bearded Benny (Bene Coopersmith) more hippy than hipster whose main occupation in life is buying and selling rare Vinyl records. That and obsessing about his shirt which he feels is way too colorful for his rather nerdy personality. His day is taken up with chasing a valuable Charlie Parker record, but when that turns out to be a scam, he spends the rest of the day in a bicycle chase pursing the small time con artist who had relieved him of his money.
Benny has a temporary roommate Ray (George Sample III) who is couch surfing after his girlfriend kicked him out for posting naked pictures of her on the internet. His excuse for doing this was that she had been unfaithful, but now he is in trouble as her angry muscled brother was to exact some punishment on him.
Phil (Michael Cera) is a newspaper reporter who has a nervous new trainee for her first day on the job and he throws Claire (Abbi Jacobson) immediately into the deep end expecting her to interview detectives and a suspect in what turns out to be a murder case. Phil is a heavy metal fanatic and insists on playing the excruciatingly awful track that his own band made very loudly whenever they are in the car and in hot pursuit of their investigation.
It does lead them to a watch repair store that looks like it may have not seen a customer for several years which doesn’t seem to phase its proprietor (the ever wonderful droll Phillip Baker Hall) who is almost annoyed that the watch the dead man’s widow brought it to be fixed, may be an important clue in the murder now.
The last grouping in the day’ events are teenage school-girl best friends Wendi (Tavi Gerinson) and Melanie (Olivia Luccardi) who are playing truant from school again. Wendi’s idea was to just hang out together, but as they have access to Melanie’s empty family apartment she wants to invite her boyfriend Eugene (Buddy Safre) over so they can make out. When he shows up he is with River (Ben Rosenfield) his best friend who is meant to pair up with Wendi, who claims she is not a lesbian, but has only slept with girls so far.
It is an impressive ensemble cast but nevertheless even the more experienced ones make this lightweight script seem heavy going at times, and several attempts at getting some wry humor out of the scenarios simply falls flat. The movie written and directed by Dustin Guy Defa manages to get us intrigued by the assortment of characters, but never sufficiently to feel connected to any of them or really believe in their authenticity.