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$5 a Day (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 11 January 2009 (USA)
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The son of a thrifty conman begrudgingly joins his father on the road.

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

A Good Conman Doesn't Need Money See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

11 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Dollars More  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

They were originally going to have Polident as the wrap for the car, with a big set of teeth on the roof, but Polident pulled out as they didn't want to have their product made fun of. Ultimately, Sugar Foods Corporation agreed to wrap a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited with a giant advertisement for their Sweet'N Low brand. See more »

Goofs

While in Altoona, PA, Nat and Ritchie talk about how this is where Ritchie was convicted, and then went on to do time in Rahway. Rahway is a prison in Jersey; presumably a person convicted of a crime in PA would go to a prison in that state, not NJ. See more »

Connections

References The Great Escape (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Many Happy Returns
Written by Andy Partridge
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User Reviews

 
"$5 a Day" is the best of indie film-making
19 September 2010 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"$5 a Day" is a father-son road trip movie. You may think you've seen that done way too many times before, but it plays out as if it's completely original. This is, quite simply, one of the best indie films ever. It may not be completely independent as it does have an all-star cast behind it.

The handsome and completely endearing Alessandro Nivola is Flynn, the son, who is just trying to live a normal life. Christopher Walken, still on top of his game, is Nat, the father, who schemes and lies his way into living and travelling on just 5 dollars a day. After Flynn loses his job and Nat insists he's dying, Flynn agrees to drive his father across the country for treatment. There are plenty of hilarious cons and schemes, but also some touching honesty, along the way.

"$5 a Day" is a fantastic dramedy. It is billed as a comedy and it does have some low-key humour and many laughs. But by just calling it a comedy, that doesn't seem to give the film full credit for the brilliant character writing. There is a lot of intelligent undertones in the actions of the characters as they each mature in the journey. And the writer did that with subtlety and humour, no melodrama here.

This film was done better than I ever thought a relationship road trip movie could be done. I laughed all of the way, just enjoying the characters, and I didn't find all of the subtle lessons on relationships until after it was over. Walken and Nivola had great chemistry and completely won me over. I now expect them to play father and son in all of their future movies.


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