20 December 2002 | keanuette
An excellent reflection...
I've just seen this film for the first time and I must says, it very good for a TV. There is no schmaltz, no over acting, no oversentimentality.
The movie is based on how a father's drinking problem is affecting his family. They are dysfunctional, but are in denial. The father's losing customers, the mother is popping pills, hoping everything will go away and thing will go back the way they were. The elder son has run off and deals with the problem by airing it in his stand up comedy routine [which is excellent interplayed throughout the movie in a kind of narrative].
The elder daughter still wants daddy's approval and it's causing her marriage to fail. The younger son [played excellently by Keanu Reeves in one of his first feature films] is following in dad's footsteps, but has the willpower to change his ways before he ends up like his dad ~ dead.
The younger daughter, a fine artist and sculptress with a promising future, doesn't make a move unless mom and dad approves.
The plot is frustrating at time, which it's supposed to be. It does it's job in getting you involved and caring about these people's lives, wanting things to heal.
The healing takes place once the father has died. His patriarchal grip binding the family together to the end.
Under the Influence has realism, dealing with a very real issue in a real way. It has a great ensemble cast, a great supporting cast and I was very suprised and pleased with this movie.