PULLOUT pleasantly surprised me due to Gunther’s charm and some unexpected revelations on family dynamics. Plus, seeing her series of somewhat crazy ex-boyfriends makes mine look a little saner.
An exceptionally insightful work.
What could have been a self-indulgent nostalgia-thon is instead a witty, original look at how Gunther’s drew her to certain kinds of guys at certain times, and why those relationships didn’t work out. Her need to savor the past borders on the Proustian. Gunther doesn’t make snide comments about the guys, even when she finds out that one cheated on her with between ten and a hundred women while they were together.
Almost everyone has contemplated contacting that mysterious ex from ten years ago, but who actually goes through with it? Maybe a few are bold enough to pick up the phone and have an awkward conversation about the past. Gunther opts to meet her exes in person and engages in lengthy interviews that are by turns hysterical, painful, and always interesting…To describe Pullout as intensely personal barely scratches the surface of this film..
Rather than the heavy dose of navel gazing you might expect from such a theme, (Jyllian’s) quest is a gently delivered reminder of how that elusive combination of timing, attitude and chemistry can make people drift apart as easily as it brings them together — and that the answers to finding the perfect match only grow more complicated with age…(Done) with curiosity, humor and charming vulnerability.
How many soulmates do I have out there?” asks one of the ex-boyfriends interviewed in Gunther’s PULLOUT, a ruefully comic documentary…this is quite the unromantic notion - If there’s more than one true love for each of us, doesn’t that also mean there’s none? - and it hints at the depths this bravely self-absorbed little film is willing to trawl...What saves PULLOUT from the bottomless pit of solipsism is its clear-eyed sense of humor and the fact that Gunther doesn’t let herself off the hook…
Pull Out is a great documentary which shows how we can all analyze our lives to find an interesting story…The movie brings out the amateur psychiatrist in all of us, as you realize how Gunther’s bond with her father clearly shaped her relationships with the other men in her life.
This unflinching and mesmerizing documentary examines why “pulling out” is, if not the most rational or desirable, at least among the most common default strategies toward the challenge of control. Gunther’s determination to force a frankness from her ex’s seems more a desire to confirm the veracity of painful memories than a need to question or refigure the facts themselves, suggesting that perhaps the preemption of satisfaction is what subconsciously fulfills.
On the surface, PULLOUT is a simplistic documentary where director/writer Jyllian Gunther revisits old boyfriends to find out what went wrong with their relationships. She also interviews her father for his thoughts on the matter…Dig deeper, however, and you encounter a wonderfully deep and rich film about the motivations of people and their actions. It also looks at responsibility & destiny, and is quite possibly one of the most introspective documentaries of the year...
By turns funny and tragic, PULLOUT is a psychoanalysis of relationship behavior not seen in textbooks. A brave soul to bare her oevre of romantic failures, Gunther’s experience offers illumination to a riddle that puzzles us all.
…The film is compelling and well put together...Ms. Gunther displays great courage in putting these scenes on record and showing them to the world.