5.7/10
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Diminished Capacity (2008)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 4 July 2008 (USA)
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A Chicago journalist suffering from memory loss takes leaves from his job and returns to his rural hometown, where he bonds with his Alzheimer's-impaired uncle Rollie and his old flame.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Uncle Rollie Zerbs
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Lee Vivyan
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Casey Dean
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Ray Thomas ...
Gordy
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Lloyd
Heidi Neurauter ...
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Storyline

Cooper is a Chicago journalist with post-concussion memory loss. His mother wants help moving Uncle Rollie, who's facing his own fading memory, into a care home. Cooper's boss tells him to take a few days, so Cooper drives home. Rollie doesn't want to move, and his salvation may be a rare baseball card of a 1908 Chicago Cub. Maybe they can sell it in Chicago for enough for Rollie to live at home with help. Cooper teams up with Charlotte, his recently-divorced high-school flame, and her son; they take Rollie to a memorabilia market. Rollie insists on keeping the card in his pocket, while more than one rascal wants to divest the old man of his treasure. Can the underdogs carry the day? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes what you lose is not as important as what you find. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 July 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cardboard memories  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,832 (USA) (4 July 2008)

Gross:

$21,291 (USA) (18 July 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of Wildfire is played by David Martin Rose. On his first day working as an intern for the sound department, David was approached by director Terry Kinney, and was asked to read for the part. See more »

Goofs

When Cooper grabs Dillon his hand on his arm moves between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Gupta: I don't have you tell you that you're still recovering from your injury. But if it's an emergency, I guess... Where does your uncle live?
Cooper: Missouri. La Porte.
Dr. Gupta: Who ask you to go down?
Cooper: Well I got a call from
[checking notes]
Cooper: from my mother, and I guess he's having some problems.
Dr. Gupta: Huh...
Cooper: Yeah. Yeah, she could be exaggerating a little.
Dr. Gupta: Disorientation? Confusion?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: The People vs. Martin Sugar (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Bill
written by Mark Orton
performed by Tin Hat Trio
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Alan Alda has not been this funny since Hawkeye Pierce
21 January 2008 | by (Park City) – See all my reviews

Maybe Diminished Capacity isn't "all that and a bag of chips," as a friend of mine is fond of saying. But I'll tell you what, it's pretty funny. I think I heard more laughing than anything I've seen at Sundance since Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine. That bodes well for the box office prospects of this film.

Alan Alda gives a terrific performance as Rollie Zerb, a small-town Missouri old-timer with Alzheimer's, who lives with his sister (and some hilarious but unidentified guy named Wendell in a trailer by the house). They are visited by Cooper (Matthew Broderick), who arrives at his mother's request to help talk Uncle Rollie into a nursing home. Cooper has mental problems of his own, due to a recent concussion. While back in town, he runs into Charlotte (Virginia Madsen), his high school sweetheart who is recently divorced from the town mayor. And somehow Rollie, Cooper, Charlotte and her son wind up heading to Chicago, where they are going to try to sell Uncle Rollie's rare baseball card of Frank Schulte, from the 1908 Chicago Cubs (the last Cubbies team to win the World Series!).

Broderick is solid, in his awkward, understated way. Madsen is the straight woman. But Alan Alda makes the movie as Uncle Rollie, and dominates the screen in almost every scene. And yes, if you squint you'll see shades of Hawkeye Pierce, but his Rollie character is a complete departure from anything he has done in the past, and probably his best comedic performance since MASH.

The script is very well-written, if a bit awkward at parts, and under the direction of veteran actor Terry Kinney, the action moves along briskly. There is probably more tension than there needs to be, which doesn't really fit. But when you're not wincing, you're generally laughing. There are some hilarious lines, and a plenty of feel-good vibe. Everyone will like this movie.

Sundance Moment: Broderick was much better on stage than I would have expected. He was there with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, whose movie Smart People had premiered at Sundance the night before. Alan Alda was charming as well. Bobby Canavale was in two movies playing at Sundance this year, the other being The Merry Gentleman.


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