Ben's dad Sam shows up one night with a note from Ben's mother (Sam's wife of 46 years), that she has left. While Ben's wife and his three sisters try to find her, Ben takes Sam on a day ... See full summary »
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Ben's dad Sam shows up one night with a note from Ben's mother (Sam's wife of 46 years), that she has left. While Ben's wife and his three sisters try to find her, Ben takes Sam on a day trip to see a farmhouse that's for sale. The day trip turns into a road trip while dad and son explore their past, their relationship, and why Sam's wife might have left him. The road trip includes fishing, drinking, playing pool, sleeping under the stars, and frank discussion. Anger simmers close at hand, as do love and hope. Where Sam's wife is - and why she left - leads to the movie's resolution. Written by
Paul Reiser steps away from the standup comedy spotlight to write a warmly humorous and gently tender story about family - what we see and what we don't see, what we expect and what surprises us. THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS doesn't set any new standards for film, but it is a fine little story well told that reminds us about the significant bonds that family represents.
Sam Kleinman (Peter Falk) has been a workaholic, at times pushing his wife Muriel (Olympia Dukakis), his daughters (Mackenzie Connolly and Lydia Jordan), and his son Ben (Paul Reiser) into the background. One day Muriel leaves a note that after years of marriage she is leaving! Her daughters, along with Ben's wife Rachel (Elizabeth Perkins) immediately begin the search for her whereabouts, leaving the confused and hurt and disgruntle Sam to sort things out on a road trip with son Ben. The road trip becomes a time for the two men to learn who each other is and what they each mean to their status as father and son and as family members. Sam relaxes for the first time in his life and introduces the now workaholic Ben to the pleasures and fun of living. The trip comes to an end with a phone call about the whereabouts of Muriel and why she left and the regrouping of the wiser family draws the story's warm ending. All is not what it seemed: it's better and, well, different.
Falk and Reiser play off each other like the pros they are, but in many ways the film belongs to the brief moments when Olympia Dukakis is on screen, reminding us that she is one of our strongest matriarchs on film. Well worth viewing. Grady Harp
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