An uptight New Yorker and his party girl sister visit their Dad's lake house to meet his new wife, and rough-around-the-edges kids. When the parents announce they're adopting a child to ...
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A successful music producer quits the industry and exiles himself in upstate New York, but the solitude he seeks is shattered when his estranged son and the pop star he's created come looking for answers.
A comedy from an original script by Michael Maren, about a failed Brooklyn writer, Nathan Fisher, played by Bryan Greenberg, who visits his ailing parents in Florida. His mother (Lavin) has... See full summary »
Kathleen Rose Perkins
Working in a Boston homeless shelter, Nick Flynn re-encounters his father, a con man and self-proclaimed poet. Sensing trouble in his own life, Nick wrestles with the notion of reaching out yet again to his dad.
An uptight New Yorker and his party girl sister visit their Dad's lake house to meet his new wife, and rough-around-the-edges kids. When the parents announce they're adopting a child to bring the family together, it has the opposite effect.Written by
Quadrant Motion Pictures
This movie shot for more than it could handle, in my opinion. It looks like it was intended to be a dysfunctional family comedy like The Family Stone or many other "homecoming" style movies about holidays or meeting the new spouse or whatnot -- there are many movies in this category.
But the overall tone of the movie is less comedy than of a kind of hollow absurdity. The actors appear to have been told to inhabit the script as if it were a Chekhov play. As if the inherently ridiculous things that were happening could be played straight without real- world consequences or effective symbolism.
In a comedy, with a sufficiently comedic tone, those ridiculous moments could be forgiven as just being ridiculous, and you can laugh at the absurdity of it along with (or at) the characters. But they instead try and play those moments off as just that much more extreme moments of personal humiliation that have driven their characters' failures. And instead of exploring those particular ideas, the narrative plods right along as if it were a comedy, almost completely ignoring these moments for the rest of the movie. And the characters tend to drag us down along with them. It gets difficult to watch sometimes because of this awkwardness. This may have been intentional, I don't know. It's certainly possible to blend these elements and have the result come out really well, and you have to give props to the filmmakers for trying, but it's just not there.
There are some pretty good performances here if you can look past its flaws. Lahti is fabulous, as is Chriqui. Ritter is what you might call serviceable -- he seems to be projecting that same sort of awkward conflict between seriousness and comedy -- but he at least seems to get it, whatever that "it" might be in this case. And although the writing gets a little flimsy and self-satisfied at times, it's mostly pretty entertaining. Just don't expect a whole lot.
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