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 »
In the scene that Stanley is talking to his elder daughter, Heidi, in the car asking her to think of "something fun to do" that day; a paper grocery sack is seen behind her head but it disappears as the conversation progresses. 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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John Cusack was excellent in this role. I saw a side of him that I never expected possible. His characters are usually intelligent and witty with sarcastic undertones, but this film shows a side of his versatility that has never surfaced before. He plays a father of two that is struggling to find a common ground. His military background leaves little commonality between himself and his daughters. The devastating loss of his wife, and the mother of his children force this character in a place that few have ever been. After an entire childhood of emotional absents, his children finally see the softer side of their father as he struggles to tell them of the untimely death of their mother. It was truly an emotional roller coaster.
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