The Boys Are Back is a confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter who, in the wake of his wife's death, finds himself in a sudden, stultifying state of single parenthood. Joe Warr throws himself into the only child-rearing philosophy he thinks has a shot at bringing joy back into their lives: "just says yes." Raising two boys - a curious six year-old and a rebel teen from a previous marriage -- in a household devoid of feminine influence, and with a lack of rules, life becomes exuberant, instinctual, reckless... and on the constant verge of disaster. The three multi-generational boys of the Warr household, father and sons alike, must each find their own way, however tenuous, to grow up. Written by
Going in, I had utterly no idea of what to expect from this film. My companion didn't even tell me ~what~ movie we were going to see, much less any clues to what it was about. I don't think I've ever walked into a theater with so little idea of what to expect. All I knew was that Clive Owen had a role; but he plays such diverse roles, that gave me no clues.
But, I'm sure even those who knew lot more about this movie going in were surprised. The story provides lots of unexpected and unusual moments. I would anticipate the plot would turn one way, and it would find a whole new direction of it's own. It was refreshing to see a movie that didn't try to fit a mold - that has it's own unique view, rather than fitting into a genre.
The acting was quite amazing; really wonderful believable performances all around. Main characters and minor characters were so believably portrayed that watching the movie occasionally gave me as sense of being the peeping tom.
So those are truly amazing achievements in a movie, especially these days. And yet...
"Boys" has aspects of a great movie, but, sadly, it isn't great. The underlying Peter Pan theme was a bit overplayed. It felt as though the director kept whispering in your ear, saying, "Got it? Got it, yet?"
The storyline held surprises, drama, tension, and some great comic relief... along with more than a few tediously boring scenes that let the audience fall right out of the movie (enough of the raindrops on windows!). It's always a bad sign when I check my watch during a movie, and I checked my watch way too many times in this one.
So, go see it and expect to see something special in it. The specialness is there, even if the movie sometimes dumps you out of the scene and back into your theater seat.
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