FATHER’S DAY (1997)

fathersday

Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
Based on the film “Les Comperes” written by: Francis Verber
Cinematography By: Stephen h. Burum
Editor: Sheldon Kahn & Wendy Greene Bricmont

 

CAST: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Nastassja Kinski, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Bruce Greenwood, Haylie Johnson, Mark McGrath, Charles Rocket, Jared Harris, Louis Lombardi, Patti D’Arbanville, Ricky Harris, Dana Gould

Jack Lawrence is a smart aleck lawyer who is one day visited by an ex-girlfriend who tells him her kid was his. Enter Dale Putley, a depressed goofball who is also a writer, meets with the same ex-girlfriend who tells him her kid is his. One day Jack and Dale meet and discover what had happened: they’ve been told the same story and now there’s a question of who the real father is. They learn their son is following a rock band called Sugar Ray around. So Jack and Dale hit the road to Sacramento and find their drunk, love-struck son. Soon after they bring him back to their hotel room, their son escapes and Jack and Dale must use teamwork to find him again, bring him home, and find out which one of them is the real father.

This film is like a big screen version of the 80’s sitcom MY TWO DAD’S. Except with a son instead of a daughter and the mother of the child still being alive. Yet it’s a remake.

The script as much as there is one seems like a extra long episode of the previously mentioned show. Such is the strength of the writing and the jokes. This film is just lazy. It seems like the thought was bring in two big name comedians, Throw a thin story around them and let’s see what happens.

You would expect better from the talent involved. Not only in front of the camera but behind it also. Ivan Reitman is a talented Producer/ Director behind many a classic comedy, Starring comedic heavyweights. So he knows how to handle talent and bring the best out of them. Here it seems like he just let Billy Crystal and Robin Williams off the leash and let them make it up as they went along. It brung out the least in them.

One can understand probably because the script was weak, Reitman probably encouraged them to improv as much as they can, To make the material sparkle. The problem is that this film plays like a comedy improve session with different locations, good production values and good camera placement.

I wish I could say that the actors look like they are having fun but Billy Crystal looks angry and uncomfortable and comes of as smug smartass instead of witty. It’s strange to see Billy Crystal play the more touch of the two. It leaves Williams all over the place like a emotional tazmanian devil.

This is more a comic relief reunion and a packaging deal of having two noted successful comedians and comedic actors team up in a film. Which is easy to make
A Quick dollar with and luckily the two have chemistry.

The problem Is that the films material is beneath them And kind fo lame. Luckily it is mostly Set up to ah e them run away with scenes. Though once they have to deal with their “Son” character anything lovely int eh scenes quickly gets deflated by dragging him
Around with them.

The film also has a number of recognizable cast members in cameos and supporting roles to pad out the cast.

The film tries to distract the audience wit a all star cast (At the time anyway) That comes off as desperate and condescending.

GRADE: F

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