Comments on watching and making films.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Savages

It's safe to say that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are both amazing actors, but, sometimes, even when you put amazing actors into a script that doesn't really deliver what you expect of it, not even they can save it for you. 

The Savages is the story of Jon and Wendy Savage, a brother and sister, who are facing the reality of losing the father they never really knew that well, to dementia and old age. Both Jon and Wendy are struggling writers, Jon is a professor working on a book about Brecht, while Wendy is a playwright. After his "girlfriend" dies, their father Lenny is forced to move out of her house, and Jon and Wendy have to figure out what to do with him. It complicates things that they really have no idea who this man is, having had little or no contact with him for 20+ years. It doesn't help, either, that he suffers from dementia, a disease similar to Alzheimer's, which causes him to be irritable and difficult to deal with.

The Savages is marketed as one of those smart, funny indy comedy's, but, unfortunately, it's just not that funny. It's doesn't even pull laughs from absurd realities, which are abundant in the film. That's the saddest part. When a film is so dry that you can't even laugh at the ridiculous realities... you know you're in trouble. Linney and Hoffman play their roles well, but, still... I kept expecting the laughs, and they just never came. Had this film been marketed as a serious film about aging, dementia, etc., I probably would have looked at it through different eyes, and taken away something else from it. Who knows, I might have even thought it was amazing, but, the trailer say's comedy, and there was none. Because of that, I'm gonna have to say that The Savages was a big disappointment for me.

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