Jon and Wendy Savage are two siblings who have spent their adult years trying to recover from the abuse of their abusive father, Lenny Savage. Suddenly, a call comes in that his girlfriend has died, he cannot care for himself with his dementia and her family is dumping him on his children. Despite the fact Jon and Wendy have not spoken to Lenny for twenty years and he is even more loathsome than ever, the Savage siblings feel obliged to take care of him. Now together, brother and sister must come to terms with the new and painful responsibilities with their father now affecting their lives even as they struggle with their own personal demons Lenny helped create.
Typically on my way home on monday nights I stop at the video (dvd) store and rent what strikes my mood. However, this movie I rented days ago, my decision based mostly on the actors, story was secondary. A little secret between you and me… I have always had a thing for Philip Seymour Hoffman, I don’t know what it is about him but I find him very seductive.
I have not been in the greatest of moods as of late (gee I wonder why) and tonight I could have really used a good romantic comedy, not a realistic independent film about dysfunctional siblings putting their abusive father in a nursing home to die.
Despite the painfully inappropriate subject for the moment & my mood the film was really very good. It had more humor in it than I expected, some quite laughable like daughter decking out dad’s nursing home room with swag from Urban Outfitters, lava lamp and all.
I work with the “elderly” professionally, so the subject of the film did not surprise me. Old people, nursing homes, sickness, dementia, all part of my work, unfortunately I have been desensitized. What did surprise me was how real the film’s characters dealt with their father’s dementia taking into account and despite the troubled childhood that was eluded to throughout the film. And I loved the relationship between brother and sister. It all was quite complex and beautiful the way it all came together.
This movie, “The Savages” was nominated for several awards, all well deserved. Overall I give the film 3 tissues. (Any other day I would probably give it four or maybe even five, but today like most days I am bias to my mood) It was worth seeing, and did not suck. It is though an independent film that does not quite fit the mainstream and has one of those stereotypical independent film endings that leaves you hanging. In the end I was left wanting to see more about the characters lives, but no, time to roll credits. It seems that the audience is only privy to the brief moment of their lives that brings closure to their relationship with their father.
Although the evening was not a total lost, next week I go back to my normal routine of renting a dvd the evening I plan on viewing. It is best that way. Such a creature of habit I am.