6.4/10
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21 user 28 critic

$5 a Day (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 11 January 2009 (USA)
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The son of a thrifty conman begrudgingly joins his father on the road.

Director:

Nigel Cole
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Nat Parker
Alessandro Nivola ... Ritchie Flynn Parker
Sharon Stone ... Dolores Jones
Dean Cain ... Rick Carlson
Peter Coyote ... Burt Kruger
Amanda Peet ... Maggie
Luis Avalos ... Martinez
Beth Bailey ... Real Estate Lady
Marya Beauvais ... Realtor
Frank Bond ... Bar Manager
Vic Browder ... Salesman
Gregory Chase Gregory Chase ... Reporter (as Greg Chase)
Christopher Dempsey ... Tim Webber
Judith Greentree Judith Greentree ... IHOP Waitress
Christopher Hagen ... Marty
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Storyline

In L.A., Flynn Parker loses his job as a health inspector when his time in prison comes to light, his girlfriend Maggie moves out because of his prevarications, and his ne'er-do-well father, Nat, summons him to Atlantic City with a tale of a malignant cancer. Flynn doesn't like Nat, a small-time hustler and the cause of Flynn's jail time, but Nat cajoles his son into a cross-country trip through family memories toward New Mexico where an experimental treatment awaits. The trip is not just about the past, but whether either can tell the truth - and then what to do with those truths. From time to time, Flynn calls Maggie to leave messages. And what about Flynn's mother? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Good Conman Doesn't Need Money See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Dollars a Day See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Sweet'N Low PT Cruiser carries New Jersey license plate "Sweeet" (with three e's). See more »

Goofs

When Nat and Ritchie start out on their trip Nat makes Ritchie pull over quickly to get a hair cut. In the background you can see a toll booth. Later in the film you can see them swerve off the freeway with the same toll booth in the background. See more »

Quotes

Nat Parker: The fact is, I don't want you to do this. I need you to. I need to make things copacetic between us. I know I've been a terrible father. It's not a thing I can ignore. Sometimes for no particular reason, life falls off and knocks you flat. Slams you so hard against the wind, you think that all your insides are busted. But if you look for something to replace what's broken, if you're luck, you can find it.
[looks at his son]
Nat Parker: You're all I have.
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Connections

Features Old Yeller (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

September
Written by Maurice White, Al McKay (as Albert Philip MacKay) and Allee Willis (as Alee Willis)
Performed by Summit
Licenced Courtesy of EMI Music Inc.
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User Reviews

 
"$5 a Day" is the best of indie film-making
19 September 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

"$5 a Day" is a father-son road trip movie. You may think you've seen that done way too many times before, but it plays out as if it's completely original. This is, quite simply, one of the best indie films ever. It may not be completely independent as it does have an all-star cast behind it.

The handsome and completely endearing Alessandro Nivola is Flynn, the son, who is just trying to live a normal life. Christopher Walken, still on top of his game, is Nat, the father, who schemes and lies his way into living and travelling on just 5 dollars a day. After Flynn loses his job and Nat insists he's dying, Flynn agrees to drive his father across the country for treatment. There are plenty of hilarious cons and schemes, but also some touching honesty, along the way.

"$5 a Day" is a fantastic dramedy. It is billed as a comedy and it does have some low-key humour and many laughs. But by just calling it a comedy, that doesn't seem to give the film full credit for the brilliant character writing. There is a lot of intelligent undertones in the actions of the characters as they each mature in the journey. And the writer did that with subtlety and humour, no melodrama here.

This film was done better than I ever thought a relationship road trip movie could be done. I laughed all of the way, just enjoying the characters, and I didn't find all of the subtle lessons on relationships until after it was over. Walken and Nivola had great chemistry and completely won me over. I now expect them to play father and son in all of their future movies.


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