The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ... See full summary »
Raymond De Felitta
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.
After Nick is fired from his sales job, mostly because of his penchant for alcohol, he comes home and finds that his wife has kicked him and all of his stuff out of the house and onto the front lawn. He is pretty intent on just sitting in his chair, drinking beer, on the lawn. His cop friend, Frank Garcia, thinks he should at least pretend to have a yard sale to make it legal. He slowly starts making friends with a neighborhood kid who needs something to do, and a pregnant wife who has just moved in across the street, and Nick finds himself moving on and selling all his stuff. Written by
The movie is based on the short story "Why Don't You Dance?" by Raymond Carver - an American author and poet. Director Dan Rush asked permission of Mr. Carver's widow, Tess Gallagher, before extending the story and adding additional characters. See more »
After Samantha offers Nick Valium for his withdrawal symptoms, the yellow kayak (which we saw Nick drag to the far side of the yard in an earlier scene) appears behind her in the vicinity of the improvised living room. The kayak has been moved there to be revealed as the location where Samantha has hidden his beer. In the morning when he awakens from his stupor the kayak is back in place near Elliot and Kitty's yard, where Nick originally dragged it. See more »
Voice on tape:
Rule number 1, know your products. Okay, whether it's a PC or a piece of paper, know how it works. Number 2. Know your customers. Learn everything you can about them. Listen to what they want, and what they don't want. Rule number 3. Go the extra yard, okay? If you don't have the answer, find it. It's that simple. Okay, let's go get those numbers out there.
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I caught this at the London Film Festival and thought it was the best film I'd seen all year, or in quite a few years, for that matter, though I've yet to see Social Network. I'm partial to small, low-key movies where you have to kind of fill in the blanks for yourself. This is one of those movies, and I like its honest approach, refusing to ingratiate itself with potential audiences that like their dramas "gut-wrenching" and "captivating" (translation: over-acted and on the nose).
The cast is great, Will Ferrell is just spot-on, as good as I've ever seen him, including Stranger Than Fiction (well, maybe he'll never top Ron Burgundy, which is pure genius, but this is a whole different thing, obviously): funny, moving, serious... And yet he does very little, and the rest of the cast follow his lead: they just inhabit these characters and let the writing do its job. There are no big, Oscar-bait turns in this film, despite its boasting an "award-friendly" theme, so to speak. There are just these small, honest gestures that speak volumes for themselves. There's no need to amp them up over the top with a sappy score, huge fights, people falling apart, crying and screaming... The film successfully takes it down a notch, and I for one appreciate that.
To sum up, it was fresh, honest, funny, moving. I think its humanity will connect with people who are willing to seek this out, and I think they'll be pleasantly surprised if they do.
Trivia side note: In the print that was screened at the London Film Festival, Will Ferrell's character was called Nick Porter in the end credits. That was the character's original name, but apparently they couldn't clear it because there was a Nick Porter living in the area, where they were literally about to start shooting that day, or the next. So they had to consider a long list of names before Halsey was finally approved, but they didn't have time to change it in the credits in time for the festival release. This according to writer/director Dan Rush, who was there for a Q&A.
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