Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.58

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look: 25%
Just Average33.33%
Pretty Crappy: 16.67%
Sucks: 0%

4 reviews, 12 user ratings


Latest Reviews

I, Tonya by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Wheel by Peter Sobczynski

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Rob Gonsalves

Swindlers, The by Jay Seaver

Oro (Gold) by Jay Seaver

Disaster Artist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Explosion by Jay Seaver

Lucky (2017) by Rob Gonsalves

Breadwinner, The by Jay Seaver

Endless, The by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Thing About My Folks, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Means well, but that's not enough"
2 stars

“The Thing About My Folks” is an amiable attempt by writer-star Paul Reiser to dramatize the difficult relationships that form between fathers and sons. The film means well, and it gives star Peter Falk a wonderful opportunity to show some acting range. However, the film falls flat when it should be soaring, and Reiser’s insistence on pitching his script to the mouthbreathers is disturbing.

After his wife (Olympia Dukakis) leaves him after 50 years of marriage, Sam Kleinman (Peter Falk) seeks out his son Ben (Paul Reiser) for support and help. After checking all sources within his family, Ben elects to go on a road trip with Sam to figure out what’s going on with his mother. Over the course of this trip, Ben opens up to Sam about their distant relationship, opening up Sam’s eyes to his own family in ways he never expected.

To best appreciate “The Thing About My Folks,” the viewer has to look at the film as a valentine from Paul Reiser to Peter Falk. Written by Reiser, with towering respect for the beloved veteran of stage and screen, “Folks” gives Falk a meaty part he hasn’t enjoyed in a long time (“Corky Romano” anyone?). It’s just a shame Reiser didn’t maintain that type of admiration and focus for the rest of his film.

Although directed by Raymond De Felitta (“Two Family House”), this is Reiser’s film, drafted as an ode to his parents and the difficult relationships that form out of old age when conflicts aren’t resolved. “Folks” means well with its combination of slapstick comedy and tearjerking material, yet it’s a random picture, never quite gelling the way Reiser imagines it.

When Reiser digs in and investigates Sam’s broken marriage and absentee fathering, “Folks” is exactly the sure shot of cathartic emotional release that audiences can relate to and deserve. Through well-done flashbacks and supporting performances, the film unabashedly goes for sentimentality, and “Folks” earns these moments through Reiser’s blunt characters and realistic family history. Falk also comes through like a champ in these scenes, filling sensitive moments with incredible depth of feeling. Falk is simply stunning here, delivering Oscar-level work in a no-budget picture, and giving purpose to Reiser’s meandering plot. Showcasing his entire range, Falk gives “Folks” a much needed jolt of reality and dignity.

The rest of “Folks” isn’t nearly as warmly observed. To help swallow the bitter medicine of watching a dysfunctional family, Reiser has stocked the film with cheap jokes. Need a pool cue crotch hit? “Folks” has that for you. It also has Reiser going to a fart gag three different times, and encouraging Falk to comment on the healthy appearance of women 50 years younger than him. Reiser’s intent is to point out the peculiarities of old age, but it comes off as mere desperation to get the audience involved. But thrown into the mix are scenes of genuine sweetness and originality including one in which Ben reminisces about his father’s reliance on baby powder after he showered. It adds much more texture and warmth to the film than any shameful flatulence gag.

“The Thing About My Folks” is certainly a nice attempt at a family-dynamic comedy, and the actors give the script a boost right when it needs it most.

However, for a film that is priding itself on being the little indie rowboat in a sea of blockbuster destroyers, “Folks" is unsettlingly familiar, and doesn’t take nearly enough dramatic chances to stand out from the pack.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11484&reviewer=404
originally posted: 09/16/05 00:42:16
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. For more in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2005 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Vancouver Film Festival For more in the 2005 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/18/09 Dina Ending too sentimental, still a cute movie worth a viewing 4 stars
4/09/06 P.Bhave A movie about issues that so many of us can relate to. 5 stars
9/26/05 Aimee You could do alot worse 4 stars
8/26/05 Miss Barb Road trip comedy with both laughter & tears 5 stars
8/26/05 Ili Funny & Endearing. A MUST SEE! 5 stars
6/28/05 Pat G. Real and wonderful 5 stars
6/07/05 B.Blackbrain Heartwarming and hilarious 5 stars
3/22/05 Cheri What a wonderful heartwarming movie!! 5 stars
3/17/05 Steve K Big Paul Reiser fan, it's great 5 stars
2/27/05 DIANA JOHNSON I HAVE MANY FRIENDS WHO ARE WAITING (HOPEFULLY) TO SEE THIS. 5 stars
1/29/05 R. Landry Very enjoyable and funny 4 stars
1/29/05 Linda Hart Best movie I've seen in years 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  16-Sep-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Feb-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast