4 July 2010 | wisewebwoman
Great actors+poor script=movie let-down
I enjoy all the actors in this, so when I first saw this in the remainder bin I grabbed it. I hadn't heard of this release at all so looked forward to breaking the cellophane.
The actors - Matthew Broderick, Virginia Madsen and Alan Alda - struggle mightily with a rather awkward wandering script and a movie that can't seem to make up its mind in which direction and what genre it is embracing. Bathos, pathos, slapstick, romance and too many pathetic fight scenes get thrown into the mix and take from a slender story that could have been wonderful.
Broderick plays Cooper, an editor for a Chicago newspaper who is called by his mother to sort out an uncle (Alan Alda) who is displaying bizarre symptoms of dementia. Thing is Broderick also has suffered a brain injury (another fight scene) and is having serious mental issues himself.
This could have been fully explored in a blind helping the blind scenario but unfortunately it isn't. Instead we now get a road movie with a very valuable baseball card as the impetus for the flight. There were some very interesting underlying themes which were never fully explored and all dealing with Alda, playing Rollie who has a wonderful fish-writing obsession with a typewriter sitting on the end of the dock. I also thought the relationship between Cooper and his mother undeveloped, she seemed a very interesting avant-garde figure.
The clichés were many down to the second to last scene when all characters in the stadium engage in an unbelievable fight/chase/fight/chase scene that seems interminable not to mind unbelievable.
And then the seen-it-all-before-Joe dinner in the garden with all cast members happily chowing down. Eye-roll.
A shame to waste all that great talent on this unsatisfying script. 2 out of 10.