A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.
Sixteen year old Finn Earl lives with his Swedish massage trained mother Liz Earl in New York City, Finn who wants to get out from under her control in he often needing to be the adult between the two of them. She used to have an above board approach to her work, but has transitioned into doing massage work proverbially advertised in the back of disreputable magazines in order not only to satisfy her sexual needs but support her substance abuse, largely of cocaine and alcohol. Finn had been invited by his biological father, a world famous anthropologist who he's never met, to spend the summer with him in South America where he is currently living among and studying the Ishkanani tribe of peoples. But an incident not only kiboshes Finn's ability to travel abroad but shows Liz that she has to clean up her act for her and Finn's sakes. As such, she is easily able to convince aged Ogden C. Osborne, one of her more adoring non-sexual clients and the seventh richest man in the United States...Written by
The first of two movies in which Chris Evans appears where the protagonist describes the proceedings of the current situation of his/her life as an anthropological experiment, the subsequent movie being The Nanny Diaries (2007). See more »
The Dead Kennedys song "Kill the Poor" plays at Maya's birthday party during the summer of 1980. The song was not released until October of that year. See more »
There's this tribe in South America called the Ishcanani. That means fierce people.
They're. They're like the meanest people in the world. They'll cut off your thumbs, and they'll shit in your hammock just like we say hello.
See more »
I literally have no idea how to rate this movie. It comes in two halves, and I quite liked both of them, but the two halves belong to completely different films. Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road near your house, taken a left turn and suddenly found yourself in Helmand Province, Afghanistan? That's what this movie is like - there's a tonal shift around the halfway mark that's so jarring, so out of place with what's gone before, that it left me utterly dumbfounded, staring at the screen, saying over and over 'That didn't really happen, did it?'
If I've got trouble with it, I can only take pity on the people who had to market this movie. It's a pretty light comedy for the first half - all wacky families, odd-but-cute kid taking his first steps towards manhood, that sort of thing, and it's all very well done. And at the centre of it all is Donald Sutherland, never better in the role of a patriarch who has made scads of money, but lost out in many other ways. It's light and frothy and amusing and - then. Then the event happens, and everything turns VERY dark indeed. The second half plays more like a socially conscious melodrama, with teenage pregnancy, class division and... other issues. It's good too, for what it is, but that seismic shift in the middle of the film makes it all pretty hard to stomach.
So do I recommend this movie or not? Hell, I don't know. Both its parts are very good, but they add up to a baffling whole. I realize that that isn't necessarily very helpful, but you probably ought to be warned that this has been marketed as a comedy, and an enjoyable coming of age movie. That's true, but only up until the halfway mark...
34 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this