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Emotionally devastated by the death of his uncle, Boston carpenter Jack O'Toole (McIntyre) writes a play inspired by the man's wake. When nobody will produce the play, Jack quits his job to produce it himself, imagining that this play will give a new start to the strained relationship Jack has with his father. But the only stage Jack can afford is in the back room of a neighborhood pub. In this humble environment, Jack pulls together a theater company of sorts and brings his story to the stage, and in the process he brings together his family and friends and helps them move beyond their loss. Written by
Masood, Mashhad, IRAN
On Broadway offers you something you don't find outside of the world of cartoons - a movie you can bring your children to, where you'll share a joke with them, but it definitely give you something to talk about after. It is a movie about family, about needing to talk, wanting to give voice to, of wanting and needing to connect. It deals with loss, with setbacks and with redemption. And it does all this with a steady undercurrent of humor.
The timing of the humor is dead on - a task that is more difficult than you think. We've all suffered through books that promise humor or movies that are suppose to be hilarious - On Broadway's humor is subtle at times and sometimes very direct but it doesn't miss a beat. The old adage it is better to laugh than to cry is captured succinctly in this movie. It brings to mind My Big Fat Greek Wedding in the sense, that families and traditions are funny, but what is most endearing is how you suffer through them.
It is not a glossy presentation - it is filmed more in the tradition of you being right there in the room with them, the camera angles can be close, ajar. The lighting and texture grainy, but that's what makes you realize that you are not sitting on your couch watching a polished sitcom, you are watching life.
For me it was the humor of the piece and the sincerity of the intent of the protagonist that worked its magic.
McLaughlin has assembled a talented cast to tell the tale of a family and a dream. Arnett practically steals the show. McIntyre is good as is Dushku; you never question their characters believability. Flint lacks a bit (from my point of view) but my husband and his friends - yes all male - thought she was great and very believable, ah the male perspective. Poehler in her cameo was wonderful; Lawler too also wonderful. Vincent Dowling wonderful. There are many supporting characters or cameo characters - McIntyre's sister Judy actually has a small role but is great at execution - again an example of the humor hitting the right note. O'Malley, Greene and Wahlberg could have given a bit more, at times they are a little flat, but they are by no means lacking in their commitment. Lucas Caleb Rooney, although a stereotype of sorts (isn't everyone in a play, movie or book a stereotype?) plays his part well. The actress that plays McIntyre's mother, also nails her pieces with such Irish ferocity that you don't question she is indeed an Irish mother.
On Broadway is a wonderful movie about family and connections. It celebrates the Boston Irish but it more importantly, it celebrates the trials, tribulations and jubilation that is LIFE. Go see it, you'll feel good afterward, I promise.
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