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Staying Together
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Reviews & Ratings for
Staying Together More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Good premise that needed more development

6/10
Author: jharadie from New Mexico
30 March 2002

The security that three brothers had with their family and their father's business is shattered without warning when the business is sold. Each brother deals in his own way: one growing up quickly, one capping his anger until he explodes, and the youngest, who is seemingly unaffected, actually being the glue that holds everything together. It's a great idea that with another 30 minutes could have been developed into a wonderful film; unfortunately, in about 90 minutes all that was done was done shallowly. Except for the acting: all the actors, particularly those playing the brothers, were great, and tried very hard to make the film three-dimensional. An OK "feel-good" movie, worth seeing.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Coming of Age Movie

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
7 July 2002

A wonderful look into the lives of three brothers that are making that giant step into becoming people. Growing up in a small town U.S.A., the McDermott brothers find themselves and their family changed with the selling of the family business and the death of their father. One searches from a place in society with success, as the other searches for love and achievement. Sean Astin leads this wonderful cast of original and very true characters as the more troubled and comical of the three brothers. The overall moral of this story is hope. My final comment, its a nice film for the right audience.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

a little sad, but altogether touching.

9/10
Author: jades9 (crowes_song@hotmail.com) from semmes, alabama
5 January 2002

It's the story of three brothers pulling together in the midst of hardship and loss, and learning that the really important things in life are family, love, trust, and forgiveness. The entire cast manages to pull in a powerful performance despite a few lousy one-liners. A great film for fans of true to life problems befalling believable families. Also worth a look for fans of Dermot Mulroney or Sean Astin. They both do an astounding job, often bringing you to tears. Take my word for it and rent this today!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Stuck together, ripped apart

8/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
6 April 2012

Staying Together is a heartwarming and earnest dramedy, sometimes packing clichés, and other times, resembling Stand By Me, focusing on three teenage boys who are left without a plan for their future when their father decides that he is going to sell his restaurant since he "doesn't want to die selling chickens." When his boys find out, they are outraged that they were left out of the decision-making process, and feel they were betrayed by their own provider. One of them even walks out to live by his own rules.

The boys are hot-headed Brian (Quill), simple and love-struck Kit (Mulroney), and prankster Duncan (Astin), and their father is Jake (Haynie). After the decision to sell the restaurant is final, the boys struggle to find a specific path to take. They planned to work at the restaurant for years to come, and possibly, forever. Now, with those plans shattered, they must go their separate ways, making life decisions for themselves that were previously made by mom and dad.

I'm aware at how cliché this story sounds, but I mentioned in my review of Nicolas Cage's It Could Happen to You, I don't always immediately ride on a film for being cliché. If a film has a cliché premise, but it also occupies good intentions, sophisticated pacing, likable characters, and a charming attitude and direction than it will most likely merit a positive score. There is nothing wrong with predictability, as long as the film is passable in other areas. Staying Together is, and it is motivated by worthy, capable performances by actors who are very underrated.

Sean Astin's start was in goofy comedies and adventure flicks such as Encino Man and The Goonies before eventually playing Samwise in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while Dermont Mulroney has acted in over seventy films, yet is still patiently waiting for his breakout role. These are all great actors and they finally have their time to shine.

Lee Grant's film is a likable one, but for the sake of randomness and the fact that I have ran out of things to say about the film since there is no need for hardcore, deep analysis, I noticed one glaring continuity error. Quite possibly the biggest I've seen in a while. During the scene where the parents come home to find their kitchen in smithereens, there is a shot of the parents in the doorway of the kitchen which is interrupted by a shot of two boys in the kitchen. When it cuts back to the parents, the dad is now missing and the lighting has drastically become darker. When it cuts back to the kids it is bright and vibrant outside, showing grand effect on the lighting in the room itself. What happened? Did they forget to film something and had to come back later? It doesn't bog down the film one bit, but sometimes when a film gives you something unexpected, and when you just don't have much else to say, it comes in handy. Staying Together is a healthy exercise in the coming of age formula, and a worthy mention for forgotten eighties dramas that are sadly never spoken about in present day.

Starring: Tim Quill, Dermont Mulroney, Sean Astin, Stockard Channing, Jim Haynie, and Melinda Dillon. Directed by: Lee Grant.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Little Movie

8/10
Author: Warren Demurjian from Cherry Hill, NJ
22 February 2001

Not for everyone, but I really like it. Nice ensemble cast, with nice contributions from better known players (like Stockard Channing) and strong eye candy (from Sheila Kelley). What really works is the bond between the three brothers! Try it, you'll smile a little.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Coming of Age Film

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
5 July 2002

I had the unknown honor of talking with Troma's Llyod Kaufman a few years back when he visited Providence for their film festival. Talking about movies, Llyod made the comment that "a girl always gets naked in a Coming of Age film." In this case, Llyod was correct. Along with the story lines of redemption, meaning, and brotherhood, Daphne Zuniga appears naked as well. A wonder look into the lives of three brothers and their transformation into adulthood in the center of small town, USA. Great character development and a wonderful story. All in all, a good movie

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Touching Family Drama

7/10
Author: adamshl from United States
2 July 2015

Writer Monte Merrick had his work cut out for him here: crafting an intimate, average American family drama that takes place in a small town. Opportunities for high drama seem limited from the start. Unless one creates a "Peyton Place" or "King's Row" type situation full of scandal, there's really not much excitement going on in these environments.

Merrick wisely chose a "coming of age" situation with the boys, matched with parental business ambition, and worked up an engaging script. Director Lee Grant likewise fell right into the small town environment and keenly expressed the hopes, dreams and ambitions of its key residents.

The result is an often touching enactment with interesting characters and situations. True, it often rings familiar with TV sitcoms, but then there's just so much one can make of these basic ingredients.

The cast is uniformly strong, with Sean Astin, Dermot Mulroney, and Tim Quill as the boys and Stockard Channing as an ambitious local politician.

I saw this film when it first came out and I must say it made a positive impression, so memorable that I've returned to it via DVD over the years. There are not many small town, average family dramas out there, and "Staying Together" is a touching piece of work in this limited genre.

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Brotherly Love in a coming of age film

8/10
Author: Brian T. Whitlock (GOWBTW) from WILMINGTON, NC
6 January 2015

Brotherly Love doesn't come out the way it would. It's where you live in a small town where small town values is boss. You have three brothers: Brian (Tim Quill) the total hothead, Kit (Dermot Mulroney) the horn-dog one, and Duncan(Sean Astin) the prankster. Despite the success of working at a chicken restaurant, the father,Jake (Jim Haynie) decided to close it for good. This decision drives the wedge into the family. When the other brothers find new jobs, each one of them find themselves in the world. Duncan gets frisky with the waitress he worked with. Brian gets himself involved with the upcoming mayor (Stockard Channing) before setting his sights of the single mother. Kit gets himself involved with Beverly(Daphne Zuniga), the engaged friend. brothers are brought closer to each other following the father's passing. Brian had to put his anger beside him later. And each brother had to find a way to do something about life. All too common, somewhat predictable, life it what you make of it. Could have used more to it. But the cast of the movie is great. A lot of language was used, should have more romance themes to make it a hit. Watchable to say the least. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Decent Choice For Those Who Like Bad Movies

1/10
Author: meaninglessbark from West Seattle
13 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you like bad films Staying Together is a decent choice. It's not wonderfully bad, but it's thoroughly bad. There is some OK to good acting, but fortunately the good acting is eclipsed by a predictable story, cheesy music, cliché characters, awful attempts at humor, and Sean Astin as a horny wise cracking bouncy teen with great 80s hair.

Staying Together was rated R but that had to be for the use of the "f word" and one tasteful love scene (where we see the backside of a female actress). If those minor elements were gone Staying Together would be like an 80s made-for-TV movie (although not as enjoyably bad) or a pilot for a prime time soap opera.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Well-acted by annoyingly predictable

3/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
27 December 2011

I saw this when it originally played in theatres back in 1989. I remember being VERY underwhelmed by it. I walked out thinking "oh--I've just seen another movie".

It's the story of three brothers growing up and having to deal with various crises. The problem is that ALL the plot lines have been done before...and better. I always knew how the stories were going to end and, to make it worse, the film drags everything out. Everything is done so quietly and in a matter of fact manner. Even when people were yelling or telling each other off it came across as strangely muted. The only thing that saves the film is that all the acting is good. Sean Astin and Dermot Mulroney especially stood out (and have gone on to successful careers). It's not a terrible film just a very predictable one with nothing new to say or add.

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