Film Scouts Reviews

"Fathers' Day"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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You have to be in the mood for "Father's Day," but not expecting the instant classic it should have been with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal headlining. Yeah, it's silly and fun, but not as zany as anticipated. Williams is an unpublished, unproduced, unhappy writer while, Crystal is a successful attorney complete with lovely wife, Julia Louis- Dreyfus. They are thrown into company when Nastassja Kinski as a former girlfriend to both tells them that their son has run away. Well, we aren't sure whose son he is, but Charlie Hofheimer as Scott has taken off. So the odd couple hit the road in search of son.

I don't think I'm giving anything away when I mention that Mel Gibson has an extremely brief cameo, that is worth the wait. And Paul McCartney contributes two song to the soundtrack including "Young Boy" which he wrote for his teenage son. And the nepotism is rampant on the set. Ivan Reitman's three kids and Crystals two daughters are involved in the film as actors and crew members. And since Crystal and Williams have been working on Comic Relief together forever, there is a real family feel to the proceedings.

Director Ivan Reitman has created "Meatballs," "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Twins," "Junior," (fond of one word titles, isn't he?), and the upcoming "Commandments." He is the master at pulling laughs and our heart strings at the same time. But it takes a lot to keep two of our present day comedic geniuses from running away with a movie. And Reitman just can't keep these two from leaving their fingerprints all over everything. Williams and Crystal essentially play themselves and so the only true moments come from Hofheimer, the kid. Having two teenage sons, I was interested in the reactions of those critics without kids. Described as everything from "mouth-breathing" to "bottom- feeding," I made a note not to invite these critics to meet my boys. After all, Hofheimer seemed like a pretty typical delusional, hormonally driven, messed-up teen to me and better off than most. But the film isn't better than most. "Father's Day" has its moments but not enough to sustain it. Rated PG-13. Warner Bros.

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