Stan Philipps's wife Grace is a sergeant with the U.S. Army. While she's posted to Iraq, the earnest Stan is home in Minnesota with their daughters, Heidi, 12, and Dawn, 8. He manages a home supply store. After morning visitors bring Stan news, he takes the girls for a car ride that turns into a spontaneous trip to Dawn's favorite place, a Florida amusement park. On the way, they stop at Stan's mother's house, where his brother is staying. Heidi is an insomniac, who tries to fathom her father's uncharacteristic behavior. Dawn is cheerfully unreflective. They have fun at the park. Stan summons his courage.Written by
The film was originally going to be directed by Rob Reiner, who dropped out during pre-production for unknown reasons. The film's writer, Jim Strouse, then took over directorial duties. See more »
While the girls have dinner with Uncle John at Dairy Queen, his ice cream sundae appears to be finished and/or partially finished throughout their meal. At the beginning of the conversation that we see, the sundae appears to be finished as he tries to clean the bowl out with a spoon; but in the next shot we see that the sundae is only halfway finished. See more »
[on outgoing message]
Hi. You've reached Grace, Stanley, Heidi, and Dawn. We're not home right how, but if you leave a message, we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
[leaving a message]
Hi everyone, it's mom! I just wanted to call and tell you how much I'm thinking of you. Stan, I guess you're at work now. Have you had a chance to go to that group thing yet? I think its a great idea. God, it's hot here. I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to call again. It might be a ...
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I get the feeling that people who do not like this movie wanted some large seen where John Cusack's character tells what he is thinking. I'm confused at this. If we wanted to watch movies where characters laid out their thoughts verbatim we wouldn't have an opportunity to infer our own emotions on the situation. I would have been upset if this filmed decided to tackle the issue of war instead of the issue of how modern loss can effect us. This is a film about being put on pause. When we are shaken out of our sense of normalcy how do we cope. In this case, how do you explain the loss you cannot comprehend to your children. I think that this film is powerful in it's absent of the affectation of the outside world. You have a man who insulates himself from the events and in that case you have something a lot more honest. If the film had chosen to attack those issues i think the depth of loss would have been shattered. This isn't an anti-war nor pro-war film. I think that if you go in expecting that you will dislike immensely. This is a film about normalcy and our failure to cope. I think it works. I think wanting it to do something it isn't trying to do is an incorrect way to view this film.
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