Saturday, 26 February 2011


Co-Writer/Director: Dennis Lee
Running time: 96 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12

Genre: Drama
UK release date 29th March 2009

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 26th February 2011.


This film was recommended to me by someone on Rotten Tomatoes (sorry, I can’t remember who). Reading through the cast list, it looks very impressive but as we well know, a great cast doesn’t necessarily make for a great film. This, unfortunately, proves the theory all too well. Although there are some great performances, the film lacks any heart, you don’t really care about the characters as so it all kind of falls apart. More of my thoughts later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters and those that don’t wish to know anything about the plot please go fishing while I write the next paragraph).

Michael Taylor is a writer of romance novels. His father, Charles, a much more serious and successful writer is a bully and made Michael’s childhood a misery. His mother, Lisa, is killed in an accident on the day Michael arrived home to celebrate her graduation from University. He is not alone, his sister, Ryne is with him, and his aunt, Jane Lawrence, and her family, husband Jimmy & children, Christopher and Leslie, are all there to support him. His ex-wife, Kelley arrives for the funeral and we are told, through flashback, of his life growing up in the same house in which Jane and her family now live. There is a sub-plot involving a manuscript that Michael has recently written, the significance of which is never really made clear.

Nicely shot with some really lovely imagery used, so hats off to the cinematographer on this one. As I said at the beginning, there are some great performances here. Ryan Reynolds stands out as Michael and Willem Dafoe is great, as ever, as Charles. Emily Watson did a great job as Jane Lawrence, Carrie-Anne Moss, again, a quality performance as Kelly Hanson and Julia Roberts was also great as Lisa. It was also nice to see Hayden Panettiere as Young Jane Lawrence (in flashbacks) and I thought Cayden Boyd did an outstanding job as Young Michael Taylor.

Now, despite all the star names in the cast and all the great individual performances, this film, I’m afraid, doesn’t quite work. The pace is, at times, painfully slow and I just couldn’t find anything I could care about in any of the characters. It’s a shame, I really wanted to like this one, but I guess you’ve got to watch a few turkeys sometimes so you can appreciate the good ones! Oh, and finally, I found the cruelty to wildlife depicted here in very poor taste, maybe another thing that put me off the characters. Sadly, NOT recommended.

My score: 4.8/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
RT Page:
Trailer (Sorry about the subtitles):

No comments: