‘Folks’ rises above cliché
“Sideways,” a film about two guys bickering, drinking and meeting girls while tooling around a picturesque country setting in a convertible is up for five Academy Awards, including best picture.”The Thing About My Folks,” a film about two guys bickering, drinking and meeting girls … you get the picture … isn’t likely to be nominated for any Oscars. But it is as warm and funny a ride as “Sideways.””The Thing About My Folks,” directed by Raymond DeFelitta, stars Paul Reiser as Ben, a New York City writer, and Peter Falk as his father Sam, who drops by unannounced one day. After some classic Falk-style hemming and hawing, Sam reveals the reason behind the unexpected visit: His wife of 40-something years has gone, leaving only a cryptic note on the refrigerator. Ben was about to drive upstate to scope out a farmhouse, so reluctantly he takes his dad along.It’s a standard buddy road-trip set-up, but “The Thing About My Folks” rises well above clichés. Falk dominates the picture as the outgoing Ben, who is astonished to discover what a bad husband and father he has been, but he also revels in the chance to let loose as a single, septuagenarian swinger, showing his son a good time. Reiser, who wrote the script, mainly stays in the background, allowing Falk to happily, hilariously dominate. Add another entry to his line of eccentric extroverts.When the trip has run its course, reality sets in, and “The Thing About My Folks” proves itself by having something to say about hopes and dreams, second chances, and the nature of long relationships. It is a bit long-winded in doing so, but the coda makes the film a full combination of sweet, funny and sad.”The Thing About My Folks” shows today, Friday, Feb. 11 at 12:15 p.m. at the Isis Theater.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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