Eli McAllister, our eleven-year-old hero, is on a quest. He is also setting out to win The Fiesta Cup, a local bowling tournament. Joining him is his famous fashion designer uncle, Sean McAllister (Adrian Grenier.) Sean hasn't spent time with his family - specifically his father - for years. But now he has come home to spend time with his older brother, Eli's father. Thrown into the tournament as his ailing brother's substitute, Sean clashes with his father as old wounds are opened. But instead of reliving the past, they pull together to bowl their best for Eli who stands to lose so much. Funny, sweet and soulful - SEX, DEATH AND BOWLING takes us on a journey to learn that the secret to life is loving what you have - even if it is just a split. Written by
monterey media inc.
I'm not a fan of narration. Especially that of precocious, pre-pubescent boys with grown-up wisdom. But that was the only thing that annoyed me here. The rest was excellent.
I really like the way they treated the concept of dying at home. Get some friends and family together and some morphine, and ride it out on your home turf. Not in a hospital. It doesn't have to be too depressing, assuming that you built some equity in a community and a family.
I also appreciate that they incorporated our changing demographics without bombarding us with politically correct messages. Yes, rural towns in the west have mixed populations with lots of Hispanics. Yes, even All American families may have someone practicing an alternative lifestyle.
Grenier did not have to show much range here, but he doesn't generally anyways. That's o.k. He has a unique look and you do perceive his sensitivity. I'm more tolerant of brief flashbacks than narration. I don't like long flashbacks. These were brief but effective. You did sense his pain.
The kid was outstanding and everyone else was excellent. The father was very believable. Small towns do revolve around jocks and sports. If you're different it can be a real bitch. You see that here.
I'm assuming that reincarnation played some role in the final bowling sequence. I think the spirit of the famous bowler mentioned in the beginning may have inhabited one of the characters.
Either way, I like the way they wove the kid's spiritual questions into the plot. He visits a priest and a Hindu. In that sense it was sort of like the Woody Allen move when he does the same, looking for answers.
Other than one or two indie folk songs, the music did not play a huge role. The focus was on dialog and relationships without too much manipulation. Personal redemption and revenge play into it.
This is a slow film. If you have patience for thoughtful pictures, then you will probably like it.
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