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The Boys Are Back (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama | 12 November 2009 (Australia)
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A sports writer becomes a single parent in tragic circumstances.

Director:

Scott Hicks

Writers:

Simon Carr (novel), Allan Cubitt (adaptation)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen ... Joe Warr
Emma Booth ... Laura
Laura Fraser ... Katy
George MacKay ... Harry
Nicholas McAnulty Nicholas McAnulty ... Artie
Julia Blake ... Barbara
Chris Haywood ... Tom
Erik Thomson ... Digby
Natasha Little ... Flick
Lewis Fitz-Gerald ... Tim Walker
Nakia Pires Nakia Pires ... Lucy
Emma Lung ... Mia
Steven Robertson ... School Housemaster
Georgina Naidu ... Paula
Daniel Carter Daniel Carter ... Digby & Paula's Child
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Storyline

The Boys Are Back is a confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter who, in the wake of his wife's death, finds himself in a sudden, stultifying state of single parenthood. Joe Warr throws himself into the only child-rearing philosophy he thinks has a shot at bringing joy back into their lives: "just says yes." Raising two boys - a curious six year-old and a rebel teen from a previous marriage -- in a household devoid of feminine influence, and with a lack of rules, life becomes exuberant, instinctual, reckless... and on the constant verge of disaster. The three multi-generational boys of the Warr household, father and sons alike, must each find their own way, however tenuous, to grow up. Written by Miramax

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Films | Hanway Films | See more »

Country:

Australia | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

De vuelta a la vida See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,342, 27 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$809,752, 8 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rocky, precarious, yet insistently life-affirming journey of 'The Boys Are Back' began with the real-life story of a father facing his family's greatest crisis the only way he could; by sheer instinct, with unflagging humor and a dogged refusal to give up on the most primal basics of love and life no matter the daily battles ahead. In 1994, source novelist Simon Carr's wife Susie died after a gutsy bout against cancer. Up until then, life had been pretty darned good for the journalist. He was deeply in love, a respected workaholic, and a man with a spontaneous streak of adventure and dry wit. But suddenly, Carr woke up a single father without a single clue as to how to go on, let alone do the laundry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Warr: [narrating] I don't know whether you've ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting. But catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There is zig-zag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card. And these are probably roads in the island, for the Neverland is always, more or less, an island.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boys Are Back: A Father and Two Sons, on Set (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

You Belong to Me
Written by Pee Wee King, Chilton Price, Redd Stewart (Ridgeway Music/Warner/Chappell Music Australia)
Performed by Carla Bruni
Licensed courtesy of Teorama
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clive Owens Goes Halmark
31 January 2010 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

If Clive Owens accepted the role of Joe Warr (based on the autobiography of Simon Carr) as an attempt to break away from his type casting as a blood and thunder action hero, he at least proved that he is able to step beyond his usual screen presence. Though the story of a happily married sports writer to a beautiful young second wife Katy (Laura Fraser), enjoying their one child Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), who abruptly becomes a single parent when Katy dies from metastatic carcinoma, placing him in the uncomfortable position of becoming a single parent, is not unique among the tearful novels that have also made their way to the screen, this film survives on the quality of the cast. Not only does Joe have to overcome the treacherous terrain of tending to housekeeping along with the tenuous gap that occurs when a parent dies and the remaining parent must tend to the grief of the remaining child, but he also must cope with the young Harry (George McKay), his son by his first marriage in England (his second family is in Australia) who feels deserted and asks to come to live with Joe and his half brother Artie. The film lingers over the madness of a household of males, tinkers with tricky problems with inlaws and his exwife, but in the end the message is that with 'growth' on the parts of each of the three males in the tale, happiness is possible.

The film's intent is admirable and the cast of characters selected to portray these people - Owens shows real potential as a serious dramatic actor, George McKay is particularly excellent as the elder son - is very well selected. The film is long, and could be easily edited without altering the impact of the story. Director Scott Hicks allows the film to become predictable and overly saccharine: less could definitely have been more. But it is a good evening's entertainment. And Clive Owens CAN do Hallmark-type films for TV!

Grady Harp


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