The Wingo family is from South Carolina, they growing up in a house on a tidal plain. The oldest offspring, Lucas, largely acted as the protector for his younger twins siblings, Tom and Savannah, in light of their dysfunctional growing up, with their shrimper father, Henry, distant and abusive if/when he did pay them any attention, and their mother, Lila, while not doting on them most concerned about appearances and striving for social standing. Now in middle age, Savannah is a New York based poet, Tom, still living on the South Carolina coast outside of Charleston with his wife Sally and their own three doting daughters, taking a break from his high school teaching/football coaching job, while Lucas has long since died while still standing up for himself and his beliefs. Lila, divorced and now remarried with that wealth and social standing she so long desired, receives news that Savannah is in the hospital following her most recent suicide attempt. Not wanting to face the blame ... Written by
The movie should have focused solely on the psychological make-up of the Nick Nolte character, Tom, or of his mother. Instead we gets tons of the usual New Yorker vs. Southerner dialogue, a silly romance between Nick and Barbra which serves no purpose, a pointless interaction of Tom with Lowenstein's son. The childhood events of Tom and his family were so intense that the secondary plots were fluff. On top of that, the "yelling" school of acting was sometimes employed. When you can't think of any good dialogue, simple have the actor rant and rave loudly way out of proportion to the issue discussed. Exactly what made Tom lose and gain back interest in his loving family was really important but not really explained.
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