$5 a Day (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,617 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 30 critic

The son of a thrifty conman begrudgingly joins his father on the road.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Real Estate Lady
Bar Manager
Gregory Chase ...
Reporter (as Greg Chase)
Judith Greentree ...
IHOP Waitress


In L.A., Flynn Parker loses his job as a health inspector when his time in prison comes to light, his girlfriend Maggie moves out because of his prevarications, and his ne'er-do-well father, Nat, summons him to Atlantic City with a tale of a malignant cancer. Flynn doesn't like Nat, a small-time hustler and the cause of Flynn's jail time, but Nat cajoles his son into a cross-country trip through family memories toward New Mexico where an experimental treatment awaits. The trip is not just about the past, but whether either can tell the truth - and then what to do with those truths. From time to time, Flynn calls Maggie to leave messages. And what about Flynn's mother? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Relationships don't come cheap! See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Dollars More  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Polaroid camera which Nat uses throughout the film is a "Barbie" branded camera, with the Barbie logo over the lens. See more »


While the characters were stopped in Altoona, PA, they stopped to eat at an Ihop . There is not an Ihop in Altoona, there never has been. See more »


Features Old Yeller (1957) See more »


Seminaris Patris Domine
Written and Performed by 'DIako Diakoff'
Produced by Phil Hernandez
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth much more than 5 bucks, a very enjoyable and tender film
29 August 2011 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Flynn Parker (Alessandro Nivola) thought he had broken free from his past. You see, his conman father, Nat (Christopher Walken) was always hustling and stretching the truth, causing a chaotic childhood. It finally resulted in Flynn taking the fall on one particular scheme and going to prison. For the past few years, Flynn has been living in the Los Angeles area and working as a health inspector. Unfortunately, the boss has just now gotten word of Flynn's criminal past and he is fired. To add insult to injury, Flynn's girlfriend, Maggie (Amanda Peet) has also moved out of their apartment, because of her boyfriend's failure to open up about his past to her. So, into this fine kettle comes word that Nat wants to see Flynn and asks him to fly to Atlantic City. Having no other job prospects at the moment, Flynn makes the journey. But, when he arrives, his dad tells him that he is dying from cancer. Not only that, he wants Flynn to drive him to Mexico for some experimental treatment and promises that it won't cost more than $5 a day in traveling expenses. This is because he has been given the use of a car, a pink beetle, with a sign for "Sweet and Low" sugar substitute. He also has a deal with Ihop for free meals and friends to stay with, like Dolores (Sharon Stone), along the way. If there aren't any pals, they can bunk in empty houses with "for sale" signs in the yard! Ha! Very reluctantly, Flynn agrees to go. At first, a reconciliation between the two men seems possible. But, can Flynn really trust that his father is telling the truth? As they journey, Flynn calls Maggie's answering machine and leaves messages that reveal more and more of the person he really is. Will they stay a couple, too? This truly enjoyable and sometimes tender film is just great for film fans looking for a change of pace. Nivola, so handsome, does a great job as the conflicted Flynn while Walken delivers another fine turn as the aging huckster. Stone's role is small but lively while Peet displays a fine sensitivity with a minimum of lines. Other cast members are good, too. As one might expect, the changing scenery across the United States is very lovely while costumes, photography, script and direction are quite up to snuff. In short, even if you must pay five bucks for a movie rental, this one has hidden treasures.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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