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A Short History of Decay (2014)

 -  Comedy  -  16 May 2014 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 202 users   Metascore: 54/100
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A comedy from an original script by Michael Maren, about a failed Brooklyn writer, Nathan Fisher, played by Bryan Greenberg, who visits his ailing parents in Florida. His mother (Lavin) has... See full summary »



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Title: A Short History of Decay (2014)

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Credited cast:
Erika Bryce
Nathan Fisher
Sandy Fisher
Bob Fisher
The Man in White
Jack Fisher
Dr. Black
Nick Flynn ...
Young Bob
Law Firm Attorney


A comedy from an original script by Michael Maren, about a failed Brooklyn writer, Nathan Fisher, played by Bryan Greenberg, who visits his ailing parents in Florida. His mother (Lavin) has Alzheimer's and his father (Yulin) has recently had a stroke. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It doesn't get better than this.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

16 May 2014 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Linda Lavin received the script for A Short History of Decay, she thought the writer/director Michael Maren's name sounded familiar. It turned out that Linda's father and Michael's grandfather were best friends and fishing buddies in New England. See more »

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User Reviews

Meh, some great characters, but the story died on the vine...
17 August 2014 | by (Phoenix, AZ) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure what to make of this movie. It was on the edge of being really good, but it never quite made it. That's not to say there weren't some really good things going on. The actors and their characters were good - some quite good. I really enjoyed Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, and Kathleen Rose Perkins roles in this. The characters were well done and they actors did very credible jobs. Greenberg's character was on the weaker side - it felt like some depth would eventually come out, but nope. King as the brother was fair. Chriqui as the ex-girlfriend did a credible job, and the character was good in the beginning, and quite believable, but at the end lost any semblance of interest - and what did she do anyway? We heard law, then she appeared to be an admin, then she's writing novels? The worst character was Alex (played by Rebecca Dayan - the actress was fine, but the character was pointless). What was the point? I understood where she could have fit in, but in a movie where the plot never materialized, another subplot that went nowhere even faster was not helpful. Kind of like the artist with the painting. There was a sense that that was somehow important, but it never went anywhere.

The real drawback was the story. It never really went anywhere. Of course, it appears that it never really planned to, but the viewer is left a bit let down that nothing ever happened. At least it could have let us see Greenberg's character start writing, or doing anything to justify watching him for this long. In reality, the story just showed a lot of metaphorical decays. The obvious ones were the mother and father, literally every character's life (except maybe the Irish nurse...), the car, Greenberg's relationship, King's family, Perkins career (it seems the assumption is that she gave up her education and career to take over her dying aunt's salon), Greenberg's writing career, etc. But, within the decay, there were signs of recovery - but these seemed accidental rather than planned, and there weren't enough.

Each of these bits was well done, but there wasn't a coalescence into anything specific. Maybe that was the plan for the story. It just kind of has everything there in existence as the viewer passes through. I guess the message is that everything decays, and some things recover and some don't.

I enjoyed it, and wanted it to do more. In the end it's hard to get emotionally invested. OK to spend 90 minutes, but don't expect too much and you may have a good time.

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A film like this needed to be made rahhjohn2
Potential, but wasn't any good. megkegpegleg
Where can I find this? thunkgvtk
Crappy movie outside the great job by Lavin + Yulin pcleary99
Young Bob? flickadill
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