1 item from 2004
The characters of "All You Need" need a referee -- and the viewer could use a scorecard to keep track of the play-by-play action that occurs during one year in the lives of a seemingly together American family.
"Need", which had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is a talky, mostly civilized group meltdown with strongest prospects as a cable item.
A small theatrical release is a possibility for a film with much verbal spiciness but no interfamilial nastiness so dire that viewers will be haunted. In any event, it's up to lead Kellie Martin (NBC's "ER," the CBS telefilm "About Sarah") to lure in the young and mature female audience the U.S. indie needs to survive in unkindly and even combative marketplaces. Tyro director Randy Ser co-wrote the screenplay with fellow producer Sam Hensley Jr., and there are some undeniably effective sequences and performances in "Need".
Given the subject matter of alcoholism, divorce, marital infidelity and starting over in life, Ser and Hensley show admirable restraint and strive for an actor's showcase, which will be good enough for those viewers in the mood for a round of predictable ups and downs in the scripted "real world."
The table is set for a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner, with three married sisters (Martin, Kayren Ann Butler, Amy Raymond) joining their mother (Janet Carroll), father (Robert Pine) and forgetful granny (Gloria Le Roy). Although sundry spouses and grandchildren attend, the celebration turns sour, like so many before it, when old habits lead to unpleasant behavior by the clan's soused matriarch (Carroll).
It's only the beginning for Beth (Martin), who loses her husband Sean Patrick Murphy) to another woman and goes through a numbing divorce. There to represent her and go the extra step of proposing they have an affair is the lawyer husband (Chris Shea) of one unsuspecting sister (Butler), while the other sis (Raymond) starts talking about sexual role-playing games and eventually ends her marriage in a flurry of scandalous developments.
But it's Mom who becomes such a problem that the sisters get a court order to force her to go into treatment for alcoholism, while cowardly Dad offers no solutions and won't abandon his mate. To put it another way: moms and dads -- can't understand them, can't stand under them. The filmmakers and performers are admirably in sync, and the ultimate message Beth gets out of it is "sail away, free bird."
ALL YOU NEED
Director: Randy Ser
Screenwriters: Sam Hensley Jr., Randy Ser
Producers: Sam Hensley Jr., Randy Ser, Mike Gabrawy
Executive producer: Randy Holleschau
Director of photography: Jim Orr
Production designer: Erik Olson
Editor: Kimberly Rettberg
Costume designer: Emma Trenchard
Music: David Bergeaud
Casting: Elisabeth Jereski
Beth Sabistan: Kellie Martin
Faran Crenshaw: Kayren Ann Butler
Missy Rampley: Amy Raymond
Jane Sabistan: Janet Carroll
Earl Sabistan: Robert Pine
Nana Sabistan: Gloria Le Roy
Chuck Starnes: Sean Patrick Murphy
Roger Crenshaw: Chris Shea
Running time -- 98 minutes
No MPAA rating
1 item from 2004
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