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Tiffany and Donal met in The Compass Rose, a bar in Martha’s Vinyard, ten years ago. It sounds like the kind of English style pub where you might expect to find an expat Irishman — or the guiding metaphor of a play. Tiffany is moving across the US to San Francisco to be with her fiancee, and her father tells her to take a companion on the road to keep her out of trouble. How Donal got the job is anybody’s guess. After all, he reeks of trouble.
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Jason got a teaching job in Columbus Ohio, and his Brooklyn pals are not taking the news well. He and his wife Michelle have packed up most of their stuff, and tonight the gang is coming over to Park Slope for a going-away fête among cardboard boxes and makeshift tables. Three couples, two singles and the hosts make up a party of ten. All of them are white, with the exception of Sanjeet (Imran Sheikh), a random addition to this group of old friends who met his date a few days ago on Match.com. The conversation is stilted and twee: regular folks trying too hard to pretend they’re starring in a Wes Anderson film. Rituals of greeting and farewell, stylized insults and pro forma self-deprecation politely hide the serious emotions, feelings of resentment, abandonment and failure, tearing at the guests’ well-heeled, well-bred, bourgeois façade.