Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.
Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
A grown man caught in the crossfire of his parents' 15-year divorce discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
Two French Canadian ne'er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this buddy comedy. Written by
Paul Giamatti plays the lead role in this dark comedy as Dennis, a small time crook which comes out of Canadian prison after four years, just to find his best friend having moved in with his woman and daughter, and above that; they've told the daughter that he has died of some horrible kind if cancer. With no home and no family he is to survive Christmas. To finance he goes together with his best friend go to New York to sell, Christmas trees.
Giamatti is great as a criminal. He looks like he is gonna snap every second, and is not very far from doing some criminal stunt. He's one the verge, you could say. Every time his friend gets a phone call...
But there's obvious problems too. The music score is awful! Played in live somewhere, and should be acting as a good back ground, but it's annoyingly bad, and tedious, as well as misfired. Sad and tragic, and adds to the despair.
It's a good plot, but the film is quite too slow for it's own good. This kind of comedies I've seen so much better from the Coen-brothers, or by Norwegian directors like Hans Petter Moland, Pål Sletaune, Rune Denstad Langlo or Jens Lien. The timing in this is not the same, but still there's some entertainment to find here.
It's a rather pitiful Christmas story, and I had to stop watching three times because it was so boring, and annoyingly unhappy. I wouldn't recommend this, if your not a fan of Giamatti.
Don't watch this if you're out for a Happy Christmas story, because it's a bleak one, both film and Christmas that is.
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