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.
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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