Film, Comedy

Time Out says

The first ten minutes of this comedy about families is terrific, but after that it's hit-and-miss peppered with very funny one-liners. Probably only Robert Altman has the narrative grip to keep such a mosaic moving, and several stories here merely take up space. Steve Martin's manically over-conscientious dad steals the film, whether chewing the pitch as his small son fumbles at baseball, or entertaining a kids' party as an unconvincing cowboy. All this is in reaction against his own dad (Robards), who neglected him in favour of ever-feckless Hulce. Divorcee Wiest's fruity teenage offspring (Plimpton and Phoenix) barely communicate with her, except to hurl insults about her vibrator, while Rick Moranis' toddler is force-fed a flash-card education in Kafka and karate. At bottom, it's squashy old Dodie Smith's Dear Octupus with a top dressing of hard, smart-ass gags - very much the American TV sitcom formula. But if it's all a bit of a cop-out, there's enough to chortle at, and Martin at least is bang on.

By: BC


Release details

124 mins

Cast and crew

Ron Howard
Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Steve Martin
Mary Steenburgen
Dianne Wiest
Jason Robards
Rick Moranis
Tom Hulce
Martha Plimpton
Keanu Reeves
Harley Kozak
Dennis Dugan
Leaf Phoenix
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