A modern-day prodigal son story with a twist. It follows Patrick, a magazine writer, who seems to have the "perfect life," until one day, there is a knock at the door. On the other side stands a secret that brings him face to face with the traditional southern family he hasn't seen in over 10 years.
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After ten years, Sheldon returns from New York City to Paris, Georgia. His mother Evelyn, a laundress who is stubborn, ornery, opinionated, mean-spirited, insulting, and inflexible, has sent a ten-year-old boy who says he's Sheldon's son up to see Sheldon. Sheldon comes home to straighten things out. Old arguments flare up - between mother and son and between brothers. Sheldon wants no part of fatherhood or family. Then, someone else from New York shows up at Evelyn's door, bringing a new set of challenges. Will this family ever stop airing its dirty laundry? And what of Sheldon: where is his pride? Can he, in the words of James Baldwin, go where his blood beats and live the life he has? Written by
I agree Loretta Devine is a joy to watch. Even with the sub-par dialog she's given, she works wonders.
The plot is shopworn, but I wouldn't care if it were done cleverly. It isn't, but what really torpedoes this movie is the lackluster dialog, especially as the main character is supposed to represent a writer. I'm not speaking of those colorful explosions of verbosity that occasionally punch through--I'm speaking of all the exposition. All that dialog about who is where and why and how. It's as dull as donuts. The writer missed a lot of potential fun with words, I think.
I also think this film suffers from poor editing. There is a lot of slow cutting, probably for anticipated laughs, but the situations rarely generate the laughs to fill up the time. Not from me, anyway. Truly, I think cutting 15 or 20 minutes out of this film would help it a lot.
The performances are generally good, though I thought combining over-the-top caricatures with low-key realism made for a confusing mix. Pick a style and stick to it.
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