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Animal Husbandry

Two native sons seek ideal mates in the menagerie of Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire

Miller, Addeo and Rae bring a wide spectrum of hope, struggle and playfulness to the proceedings. The standout, however, is definitely Henderson, who delivers Clive as wise, crotchety, self-absorbed and brilliantly eccentric (witness him overriding the ghastly fluorescents of his office by constructing a tent over his cubicle). It's a little nauseating to hear the creators refer to Clive as "the Yoda of love," but it's definitely a little bit accurate. Thanks to Henderson's nuanced, sensitive work and looming mortality , one cannot help but appreciate the man.

Derick and Steven Martini in Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire
Derick and Steven Martini in Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire
Derick and Steven Martini in Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire
Derick and Steven Martini in Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire

As for the aforementioned pop nugget, the ribbed condom in the film prompts Chris to pen a tune called, aptly, "Corduroy Penis." This ditty may seem trifling, but it definitely deserves mention, because it seems to beg to be covered and covered again. (Attention, Neil Diamond, or George Michael, or Billy Ocean.) The only thing that seems strange -- and sad -- about Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire is that a couple of guys this smart and funny are so limply dependent on the women in their lives. That niggling aside, however, the movie is very pleasing, not only because it offers us characters who are at once relatable and rich but also because it makes Los Angeles seem almost inhabitable.

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