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The Thing About My Folks (2005)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,038 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 106 user | 31 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sam Kleinman
...
Ben Kleinman
...
Muriel Kleinman
...
Rachel Kleinman
Mackenzie Connolly ...
Lilly Kleinman
Lydia Jordan ...
Mia Kleinman
...
Linda
...
Hillary
Mimi Lieber ...
Bonnie
Bernie McInerney ...
Mr. Harrison
...
Young Muriel Kleinman
...
Voice of Young Muriel
...
Young Sam Kleinman
...
Tow Truck Driver
Dennis Sheehan ...
Tackle Shop Owner
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes the fruit falls very far from the tree.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, including some suggestive references | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 2006 (Kuwait)  »

Also Known As:

The Thing About My Folks  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$235,341 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Gross:

$814,682 (USA) (28 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the son and father are driving down the road, the red car behind them disappears then reappears. After a few shots the red car finally passes them. See more »

Quotes

[Two young girls walk by. Sam keeps staring after them, finally points at them]
Sam Kleinman: Explain that to me.
Ben Kleinman: What?
Sam Kleinman: The holes in those jeans...
Ben Kleinman: Uh-uh.
Sam Kleinman: They're on purpose?
Ben Kleinman: That's right.
Sam Kleinman: It's not because she's poor, and can only afford ripped clothes?
Ben Kleinman: That's correct, sir.
Sam Kleinman: [takes this in] And she doesn't mind that we can see her ass peeking out like that?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #14.30 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Until We Meet Again
(uncredited)
Written & by Joe Lervold
Performed by The Joel Evans Quartet
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Travels with my father
16 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Thing About my Folks" came in as a surprise. We had no idea about what to expect. The film directed by Raymond DeFelitta, and based on a screen play by one of its stars, Paul Reiser, proved to be a pleasant time at the movies. Although the film is predictable and we know what will be the outcome, this is a voyage of discovery where Ben gets to know his father, perhaps for the first time in his life, Ben sees his father for what he really is, and not the mythical figure he has in his mind.

The film seems to be a vehicle for its star, Peter Falk, and he runs away with the movie, as it was expected. Mr. Falk, one of the most endearing actors working in movies in this era and in past years, is an actor of such stature, he must be reckoned with. As Sam Kleinman, the distant father to Ben, he is a man that clearly is misunderstood, not only by Ben, but it appears by the whole family and his wife of forty-seven years.

When Muriel, the matriarch of the Kleinman clan, runs away, everyone goes into a panic because this woman, who has been the strong figure of the family, is vital to keep everyone together. Not knowing where she has gone, Sam shows up at Ben's house confused as he feels abandoned, suddenly, by the woman he married and has been faithful for all those years.

Ben, the youngest son, takes his father on a trip to look for a house he wants to buy so he can get his own family out of Manhattan into the country. The trip provides the excuse for Ben to bond with his father in ways he never knew about because the old man had always projected an aloof figure to his younger son. Along the way, father and son realize how much they love one another and how misunderstood the old man has been by his children. The love of Sam for Muriel spans the many years they have known one another; they seem inseparable.

Peter Falk is magnificent in the film. He makes an excellent Sam Kleinman, the man who suddenly realizes his life is about to change for the worst. Mr. Falk shines as the older man and there's never a false movement in his interpretation of the man whose whole world is crumbling under him.

Not being a Paul Reiser fan, we must confess that as Ben Kleinman, he is right. Ben and his father discover how much in common they both have and their love for Muriel, the mother that has sacrificed her life in order to keep the family together. Olympia Dukakis is only seen at the end of the film. She makes a good contribution as the fleeing mother. Elizabeth Perkins plays Rachel with great style..

The film has a beautiful look thanks to the cinematography of Dan Gillham, and the excellent musical score by Steven Argila. Ultimately, the film shows a great team effort between its director, Mr. DeFelitta and Paul Reiser who wrote it for the screen.

Although this film is clearly targeted for an older audience, it should please anyone.


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