Enough time has passed since 9/11 that filmmakers are beginning to feel comfortable talking about it in their films. In Sorry, Haters, writer and director Jeff Stanzler wonders if, for some, tragedy is an addiction. New Yorkers, in particular, pride themselves on their ability to unify in the face of adversity. The blackout of 2003 and the "blizzard" of 2006 each had newscasters (and the Mayor) standing on street corners, lauding the citizens and their willingness to band together. Would we be so concerned with that image if we didn't have to live up to the expectations created by 9/11? We have a duty to fulfill, it seems, and for some life was never better than it was in the shadow of no towers.
Phoebe (Robin Wright Penn, frenetically overacting) has a thankless job at Q-Dog, an MTV-type conglomerate. Her closest friends are well-meaning, but ultimately oblivious, not to mention richer and more successful; Phoebe's jealousy is palpable. In tragedy, however, all are equal, and this becomes her focus and biggest fantasy: how to make it happen—to recreate that feeling of belonging—all over again? The premise is an interesting one, and not unfathomable. Tragedy does bring a community closer together, not to mention the pride that comes with "living through" said tragedy. In a time where war, for many, is an abstract, far-away thing fed to us piecemeal by network talking heads, just living through seemingly random violence is equivalent to courage, and as we know from all war films, courage equals bonding. What to do, then, when the camaraderie fades away?