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"Fathers' Day" seems to pride itself in its two main stars, Billy Crystal
and Robin Williams. This is more of a film made out of vain then for comedic
purposes. It is for the crowds out there who have been waiting for Billy
Crystal and Robin Williams to star together in lead roles, almost like the
fans of "Freddy vs. Jason" have been waiting for their heroes to duke it
out. This movie combines two big stars, and the amazing thing is that it
actually gets away with it.
Yes, "Fathers' Day" isn't all that great, and no, I didn't love it, but sue me: I enjoyed it. Is it too much to ask from a comedy that it simply entertain me, give me a few laughs? Films like "The Hot Chick" can't even manage to do this, but "Fathers' Day" pulls it off. Why? Maybe because it is so fun watching Crystal and Williams interact. They bring a dead script to life. I must admit that given a better script their pairing could have made for one of the funniest films of the year, but the screenplay for this movie is dead in the water. Crystal and Williams do their best and make it amusing, but it could have been so much more. When a film resorts to showing Robin Williams doing impersonations in front of a mirror for the umpteenth time, you know that the script isn't all it could and should have been.
And this is pretty strange, because Babaloo Mandez and Lowell Ganz are usually trustworthy to deliver an amusing and hysterical script. These are the men responsible for one of my favorite comedies in recent years, "City Slickers," and their script for "Fathers' Day" just sinks to predictability, sappiness and sterotypes.
Get this: Crystal plays an ambitious lawyer who gets a call from an ex-girlfriend he went out with 17 years earlier. She tells him that her sixteen-year-old son has run away from home, that he is the father, and that he must help retrieve the boy. She gives him a photo of the boy (who looks like the typical teenage snot named Scott), and touched by her story for whatever reason he agrees to find the boy.
Problem no. 1. Crystal is a lawyer. At the end of the film, he is lied to and knows this. His wife (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) asks how he knows. He says, "I'm a lawyer, people lie to me all the time." If he is such a brilliant lawyer, why did he not look past his ex-girlfriend's little lie? Don't know, don't care - it is part of the film and what can you do?
And get this: Crystal's ex happens to be Williams' ex, too. She tells Williams the exact same story as Crystal, hoping to get at least one of them to find the boy. They both try. We know they will accidentally meet looking for him, there will be confusion, the boy will not be grateful for their helping him out until the very end, and so on and so forth.
But this movie entertained me. Crystal and Williams have good chemistry, even if a good script could have made their interaction a bit more. The jokes do fall flat at times, but the direction is nice (Ivan "Ghostbusters" Reitman), and to be honest, I had fun watching this movie. That's all I really ask for in some comedies.
(Also note a cameo by Mel Gibson, who dropped by the set during filming of "Lethal Weapon 4" at Warner Bros.!)
3/5 stars -
There are times when the critics crucify a movie and those who star in it,
with no justification. I ignore critics completely because I know what I
like. I find it particularly offensive when unjust criticism is levelled at
young performers at the start of a career. For this reason I shall begin by
mentioning Charlie Hofheimer's role in the film. This was his biggest part
to date and brother it must have been hard. He had to play a straight role
with no comic lines between the two old hands, Robin Williams and Billy
Crystal who obviously ad-libbed from beginning to end. It is of enormous
credit to him that he managed to keep a straight face at all. His character
was a spoiled teenager who was at various times in love, in a drunken
stupor, on the run from criminals and suddenly confused about who his father
was. I fail to see how he could have carried this part off better than he
did. Add to this the fact that at 15/16 Charlie was undoubtedly one of the
most handsome young men in America.
Williams with his extravagant style and Crystal with the more subtle approach provided the perfect foil for each other. So the comedy flowed. Nor did all of the best comic moments happen when these two were involved. The third father's rescue mission was hilarious.
There was also a fair amount of pathos running through the film which made it into just the kind of happy/ sad mixture that I love.This was no Oscar nomination, but good, clean, harmless fun. Enjoy!
When you put together the talents of Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, you
bet your life people are gonna expect big things. I myself expected big
things. The movie doesn't deliver on all levels. There are some badly
written gags and lame dialogue ("He's having some problems with his
testicles"). But throughout 80 % of the movie I was entertained and got a
fair share of laughs. Naturally, Billy and Robin have incredible chemistry
and I'm sure a lot of their stuff was ad-libbed. They just could've used a
better script. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel wrote the great comedy "Mr.
Saturday Night," so I did expect better from them. The two guys don't
always seem secure with the material, and rightfully so, like with that lame
running gag about "the whirl."
Nevertheless, "Fathers' Day" is a delightful comedy and it definitely has its moments. Some won't be as satisfied as others, but I myself was satisfied.
My score: 7 (out of 10)
Yeah, the plot's kinda lame and not too believable, but the stars are able
to make it a fun time. In fact, the best moments are the ones that serve not
to advance the story, but allow Williams and Crystal do their trademark
Billy Crystal is a master of the non-response, such as when told that he has a 15 year old son, continuing to slowly drink his coffee. Robin Williams is the improv master. It's fun to guess which lines were written in the screenplay, and which ones just came from his head full of characters.
We know everything will turn out OK in the end, but there are enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the story interesting, and some pretty funny minor characters.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Take a terrific French comedy, produce an American remake, and watch many of the laughs disappear. Even the two huge talents who star in this film can't save it. This film isn't nearly as bad as most of the reviews seem to suggest, but it really is nothing more than ordinary at best. Do yourself a favour, and watch the original film, "Les Comperes", instead of this one. Plus, Gerard Depardieu seems as though he could give a stronger head-butt than Billy Crystal, don't you think?
You would expect that when the comic talents of Robin Williams and Billy Crystal are combined the results would be fairly amusing...unfortunately they are not. This is another failed attempt by Hollywood to Americanize a French movie which is everything that this film is not. One of the biggest problems with this film is that the boy is so unlikeable - probably a fault of both the script and the actor. You can't believe that anyone would care that this little idiot ran away from home, and that two people were desperate enough to be his father to chase after him. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss & Nastassja Kinski have very little to do in their respective roles, especially Kinski, whose role is more of a cameo than a role of any substance. The entire setting and story behind the boys disappearance is ridiculous, as is the sub-plot involving Kinski's husband trying to find the boy as well. The leads are just not up to scratch compared to their usual comic abilities. A real let down, and a total waste of time.
Very flat and predictable story. Robin and Crystal do make an ideal
on-screen duo. Too bad they chose this script to do it. They can't save this
mess. There are some very funny parts, but it's overshadowed by a poor
story. It seems like those two and Julia Dreyfuss are the only ones making
an effort. Charlie Hofheimer was very annoying and the rest of the
characters looked liked they'd rather be in another film.
A supposed big laugh was intended when Bruce Greenwood's character stepped into a Port-o-san, a truck backs into it, and it falls over into a ditch, implying that the interior is now flooded with human excrement, with him stuck inside. I have no aversion to gross-out toilet humor, but that is just not funny. From there the movie goes from going downhill (no pun intended) to a flat-out nosedive. I don't think I even lasted to the end.
I can only hope that these two immensely talented actors will try to work another film together, but please choose something a little less insulting. Normally this would score a four, but Crystal and Williams bump it up to a 5/10.
I just glanced at the title in the TV listing.. and for some reason read it
as "Father of the Bride".. so I taped it.
When I glanced at the listing again realized I was wrong and couldn't quite
When I came here to look it up, I realized WHY I forgot
If any movie with so much comic talent was ever FORGETABLE, this is
Perhaps, the producers should have gone the whole nine yards and cast Whoopee Goldberg as the scheming mom.. that would have made the circle complete.. but Whoopee had already made that film - with Ted Danson. And it was a lot funnier.
TO be fair, a lot of the dissatisfaction with the film is due exactly to Billy and Robin being featured. We expect more from them and, when the writing doesn't support the capabilities of the actors, the results are exactly what we see here: Mediocre schlock.
Since Reitman was the director, that lit a (Ghostbusters) bulb; I can see Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd doing a better job with it.. or even Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis.
I thought this was going to be one of the funniest movies I have ever seen when I finally saw it on TV. Man was I wrong, it had a few funny parts to it but it could've been a lot better than what it was. Robin Williams acts too kiddy-like and didn't even make me laugh none the whole movie (That's a first for Robin Williams movies). I think Billy Crystal did a good job playing it as a straight business man but why did they rate this movie as a comedy??? The funniest part of the movie was by an actor that nobody even knows. The part where the boy's real father gets stuck in the outhouse. This is not a terrible movie but it's not all that great either. ** of 4
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Father's Day is a cute movie with a few cameo appearances from
Hollywood personalities. Sugar Ray plays several songs and Mel Gibson
is a body piercer. Two men find each other as they search for a young
boy who might be either of their sons. The son ends up getting in
trouble as he follows Sugar Ray around to different cities and is saved
from his problems by Dale (Billy Crystal) and Jack (Robin Williams). By
the end of the movie, it turns out that neither of the men are the
father of Scott and that Scott's mother was only using Dale and Jack to
find her son for her. Both men return to their lives, happier and they
both have their own women to share their future with. Its a happy, feel
good movie with some good humor from Crystal and Williams.
Pretty good movie, but nothing amazing to go out of your way to view. Its pretty much a Saturday afternoon sit down, relax, and have lunch kind of movie.
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