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Welcome to the Rileys
2 out of 5 stars
Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
Piggybacking on the release of ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One’, in which Kristen Stewart also stars, this subdued tale of fractured familial bonds is Jake (son of Ridley) Scott’s first feature in 11 years, a belated follow-up to his iffy period caper ‘Plunkett & Macleane’. Stewart is counter-cast as Mallory, a self-destructive New Orleans call girl taken under the wing of James Gandolfini’s Doug, a meek Indianapolis plumber who’s down in the Big Easy for a convention. It’s a regulation odd-couple set-up, as Mallory can’t fathom why Doug doesn’t need her nighttime services, while he takes offence to her potty mouth (well, who wouldn’t raise an eyebrow to someone fixated with talking about her ‘cooter’?).
While Stewart and Gandolfini share an easy rapport, the reasons behind Doug’s behaviour are less convincing. Though Doug is not averse to playing away from his wife (an underused Melissa Leo) with a local waffle waitress, his tenderness towards Mallory stems from the emotional chasm left by a daughter killed in a car accident, yet Ken Hixon’s script never strays beyond the obvious in explaining why Doug would act as he does towards Mallory. Director Scott could have done with borrowing some of his father’s visual bombast, his inert direction doing little more than capturing performances. Stewart lets it all hang out in a firecracker role but her damaged character never achieves the depth the weak material could have done with.