I saw this at the Phoenix Film Festival and really disliked it. For such a notable celebrity, how was Brolin not able to gather better actors, a better script, better lighting, or better anything? The daughter's performance was terrible, though realistically the script was miserable so it would be tough to get a good performance out of anyone. Undoubtedly the direction didn't help it either. When the daughter threatened the morgue guy at the end, saying how he killed her father, it was some of the worst dialogue I've ever come across in a film. And I watch student films all the time! The speech about being a thirteen year old girl "in the middle of her teenage years" made zero sense. At least on Earth. She was supposed to be so cool and tough but her character and performance were unbelievably forced. This movie must've been written and green-lighted during the same drinking session.
There was a special thanks to the Coen brothers at the end of the movie. I think Brolin should've shown them the script first. There is no way they would've approved. Of the 8 shorts I watched, this was the WORST. And yet it was made by the guy who probably has the biggest bank roll and best connections. I'm really bothered by this. I don't write reviews hardly ever, but this movie got me so worked up I went out of my way to do this. Overall this is worse than any student film I've seen in a long, long time. If you get a chance to see it, watch it to make your own judgments. But really, what a waste of tape and time. What a disappointment from Josh Brolin.
If you like Edward Burns films, you will like this.
I'm not sure what the deal was with the reviewer before me. Apparently Ed Burns must've urinate in his corn flakes the morning he wrote the review, because it is scathing and hardly true to the content of the film. Overall the movie plays similar to other Ed Burns films. The music selection is pretty good, and most of the storyline is contingent on the dialogue and character relationships. The lead roles were solid all around. Patrick Wilson, played his character effectively and simply, as necessary. Burns roll was reduced but still charming. Selma Blair was also convincing. The notion of Debra Messing looking like a man in drag is pretty far fetched. She looked great in the film, and her part was small but well played.
Referring to Edward Burns as being a women is way off course. The previous reviewer apparently came off of a 10 day Michael Bay film binge when he wrote his review, so obviously he would have no comprehension on what makes a film succeed. This movie has authentic dialogue with believable character dynamics, which is as much as you can ask for in any movie. As I mentioned before, if you like Edward Burns as an actor, director, or both, you will get enjoyment from this movie. If you are a JJ Abrams nut, can't understand how emotion and dialogue are used in a film, and are afraid to even fathom the notion of romance in the film, then you may not like this movie. You could always look up the previous reviewer and check out a Larry the Cable Guy film with him.
If you take yourself seriously, assume the fact that you like Requim For A Dream so that makes you some highly-prolific intellectual with an acquired taste in movies (i.e., pretentious) this movie isn't for you. If you don't take yourself too seriously, and you can appreciate a good light hearted comedy once in a while this movie is for you. Call it what you will-- cheesy, over-the-top, etc., at face value this movie succeeds. Tony Danza does a good job at playing the loving dad, and the rest of the cast does well also. This movie works well mainly, in my opinion, because of the music. From Bobby Vinton's Venus, to the Kinks, this movie exhibits all sorts of music. It's used appropriately and timely. Overall the movie is a fun comedy. Now, some other reviewers, like the guy who posted on July 7 of 2000 and gave it one star, he just basically ripped his review off Ebert (go to rogerebert.suntimes.com and look the film up if you want proof) so his opinion isn't valid. He probably hasn't seen it. Just to reiterate, you don't have to lower your intellectual standards to enjoy this. If the only way you can enjoy a film is if it is labeled as independent and it has unwarranted nudity and absurdity, you might not like this. If you saw Donnie darko and now you talk down to people when speaking about it because you think you've gone to the far ends of the earth to expose yourself to new kinds of film, then you take yourself way to seriously and give yourself too much credit. If you are like me and you enjoy a vast array of films of all types, then you may like this movie. But if you hate good music you might also hate this film.