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Seymour "Sy" Parrish works in the photo center of a grocery store. Overall, a pretty boring dude. But, not all is well in Sy's world. He slowly becomes obsessed with the Yorkin family, and tries to interject himself into their lives, including a few scenes with Nina (the mom) and Jake (the kid). After learning William (the dad) is having an affair, he once again gets involved with the family's life. Interspersed in the whole mess are more than a few really creepy moments.
This movie contains uses of:
- All for Nothing -- Sy forces himself into Will and Maya's hotel room, threatens them at knifepoint and makes them pose in pornographic manners while he takes snapshots. It turns out, however he couldn't even bring himself to ruin the Will Yorkin he knows through photographs; he destroyed that cartridge of film and used the other to take pictures of random objects in his own hotel room.
- All Just a Dream -- In one scene, Sy drives up to the Yorkin house while the family is away. This is followed by a montage of him breaking into and exploring the house, and doing mundane things like going to the bathroom. This culminates in him sitting on the couch watching a football game, while drinking a beer and wearing a sweater he hadn't had on before; all just as the family's coming home. They walk in and see him before he can escape, but instead of reacting with shock or outrage, they chat with him like he lives with them and they were merely surprised to see him home. The camera then cuts back to Sy, still sitting in his car, revealing that the whole scene was just a daydream.
- Big Screwed-Up Family -- The Yorkins, especially with Sy involved.
- Blond Guys Are Evil -- Or at least very, very disturbed.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin' -- Will's affair.
- Creepy Monotone: "Sy" Parrish.
- Dark and Troubled Past/Freudian Excuse -- After he's been arrested, Sy tells the police interrogator that his parents molested him and took child porn-esque pictures of Sy when he was a kid.
- High-Pressure Blood -- One really bad case of "red eye." See above.
- Hilarious Outtakes -- Sy is such a bottled up and intense character that it's actually fairly shocking to watch the DVD "behind the scenes" features and see that between takes Robin acted just like his normal goofy self. Director Mark Romaneck has said that he occasionally would tell Robin to just "let it out" and joke constantly for 10 minutes or so when he felt he had become too deep in character.
- I Just Want to Be Normal -- The Yorkin family represents everything Sy wants, but can't have.
- Motive Rant
- Red Eyes, Take Warning -- The nightmare scene. Sy is in a complete empty, white department store with his eyes closed. The camera keeps fading in closer until he opens his eyes... that are completely blood red. Trauma ensues.
- Shout-Out -- Robin Williams' character's last name is "Parrish", the same as his character in Jumanji. Possibly Unintentional, though.
- As stated above, Sy's boss Bill can be seen as a more serious version of the Bill from Office Space, played by the same actor. And, of course, named the same. It's a sequel.
- The toy Sy gives Jake is an Evangelion from Robin Williams' collection.
- Oddly Jake refers to the MP Eva as a good guy. While this might be true from a certain point of view one wonders if it was a mistake or if they were trying to say something here.
- Stalker with a Crush -- However, not a romantic one; he wants to be part of their family, but as the lovable uncle.
- Unreliable Narrator -- Sy narrates a few times through the movie.
- What Might Have Been -- The character of Sy was written with Jack Nicholson in mind. After he turned down the role, Robin Williams (who had been cast as the boss Bill at the time) volunteered to take the part.