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A young man leaves college and re-enters life with his dysfunctional family. Slowly, long-buried secrets involving their father are unraveled and the animosities between the father and older brother are revealed. As the past is revealed, new tragedies pulls the family together at last.Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Any movie with Jennifer Jason Leigh, my favorite actress, automatically gets at least five stars. I have never seen her play a character and be less than riveting...until this film. She just plays a very minor role. On screen for less than ten minute, she is good, but bland compared to her other performances. The same thing can be said for Juliet Lewis. She is cute and natural as the family sister, as usual, but relatively bland.
Bland is a good word for this film. The plot, acting and directing is pedestrian and average, really television show quality. All three lead brothers went on to star in television shows, Peter Berg in "Chicago Hope," Noah Wyle in "E.R." (Doctors) and Vincent D'onofrio in "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" (Detective). It is nice to see them this young, before they moved to television.
The movie is essentially about two brothers and their attempts to move away from their family. Apparently the family is a warm and loving place, but because their father had an affair with a waitress, it is all a sham. The characters keep saying that the family holds them back from doing bigger and better things, but that is not evident in anything that happens.
There are several rather interesting scenes and shots, but they are in the last 1/3 of the film. If you can get past the first hour which drags, it does improve somewhat. The burning of the father's love letters scene sticks out for the tension it builds as the letters seem to escape and start burning dangerously close to a gas station.
Their are better movies of this genre out there, but if you have seen "East of Eden," "Hotel New Hampshire," Running WithScissors, and other better dysfunctional family movies, you might consider this movie. It is dull, but has enough mildly entertaining moments to make it watchable.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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