In “Excuse Me For Living,” Dan Topler (Tom Pelphrey) is rich, smart and, when the film opens, poised on a bridge ready to end it all. A judge remands the drug-addicted Yale graduate and medical school dropout to a posh rehab center, where he is treated by a Dr. Jacob Bernstein (the renowned actor Robert Vaughn).
Bernstein’s treatment is simple: Young Topler must participate in a senior men’s club at Temple B’nai Israel. Not only does Topler find redemption, but he also finds love in Dr. Bernstein’s daughter.
The film is written and directed by Ric Klass, based on his book of the same name. Klass, 66, has had a number of careers and earned four degrees, including two in aerospace engineering, a Harvard MBA and a Masters in Education from Mercy College.
Klass spoke to The Arty Semite about film, working on Wall Street, and teaching math in the Bronx.
Curt Schleier: What do you want to do when you grow up?