Review Date: March 12, 1999
Director: Ang Lee
Writer: James Shamus (based on novel by Rick Moody)
Producers: Ang Lee, James Shamus and Ted Hope
Kevin Kline as Ben Hood
Sigourney Weaver as Janey Carver
Joan Allen as Elena Hood
Story of two families living in Connecticut in the 1970s. The unemotional husband and wife duos don't seem to have much spark left in their marriage, like to drink and cheat. This improper umbilical cord introduces their kids to the wonderfully insecure world of their adolescence without much moral or parental guidance. Adults only, please.
Interesting at times, boring at others, this character study semi-succeeds in portraying a couple of dysfunctional nuclear clans, with solid performances by all of its stars, especially the kids, despite its occasional overly existential moments. Everyone in this movie is quite cold and distant, appreciated to an extent by all who have gone through some downer periods in their own lives, but hard to swallow for those who look for entertainment in films. In that sense, this film is not recommended to those who are looking for fun and amusement, despite a couple of curiously unserious scenes. This film is meant for the higher-browed people who enjoy watching others bemoan their lifeless journeys, contemplate a sack of sins, and live in complete dysfunction among one another (Woody Allen, eat your heart out!). Depressed yet? No, check out this film!
The writing is very good, most of the characters well-drawn and the look of the film, unique and appropriate. I did find the pacing to be a little too slow for my own jive, and bothered by the TITANIC-esque annoying flutes passing off as the score, but all in all, an interesting study of human beings attempting to differentiate themselves from the kingdom of the animals.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian