Writer Nick and his wife Emily are expecting their first child. When a necessary home repair proves too costly to afford, Nick must swallow his pride and visit his father, a proud immigrant...
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Writer Nick and his wife Emily are expecting their first child. When a necessary home repair proves too costly to afford, Nick must swallow his pride and visit his father, a proud immigrant stonemason with whom he has a difficult relationship, and ask him to do the work. Confronting the issues of religion and family tradition which have separated father and son causes Nick and Emily to reevaluate their lives and the things they value most. Written by
a highly personal story not to this viewer's taste
This is one of those films that's difficult to give any kind of "objective" review. It's a personal story that (for this viewer) fails to achieve any sense of universality. How you react will depend on how sympathetic you are with the author's world view.
Based on John Fante's novel of the same name, it appears to be Fante's musings on family and the church. Nick's father is an overbearing pest without respect for his children's desires to lead their own lives. And though the characters' questions about the place of religion in their lives is not overplayed, one nevertheless gets the feeling the film is, in part, a promotion of the Catholic church. Viewers who feel Catholicism is the biggest purveyor of lies, superstition, and intellectual oppression in human history will likely be offended.
The best thing about it is its restraint. It could have been played as broad comedy, but Richard Quine directs it as a comic drama. Judy Holliday drops her usual New York voice, so if you're a fan of her other films, you might not find her appealing (though her performance is excellent).
I've seen this film twice (the first time was on AMC, 15 years ago), and my opinion of it hasn't changed. It's "warm" only in a shallow, very schematic way.
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