You have to be in the mood for "Father's Day," but not expecting
the instant classic it should have been with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal
headlining. Yeah, it's silly and fun, but not as zany as anticipated.
Williams is an unpublished, unproduced, unhappy writer while, Crystal is
a successful attorney complete with lovely wife, Julia Louis- Dreyfus.
They are thrown into company when Nastassja Kinski as a former girlfriend
to both tells them that their son has run away. Well, we aren't sure whose
son he is, but Charlie Hofheimer as Scott has taken off. So the odd couple
hit the road in search of son.
I don't think I'm giving anything away when I mention that Mel Gibson has
an extremely brief cameo, that is worth the wait. And Paul McCartney contributes
two song to the soundtrack including "Young Boy" which he wrote
for his teenage son. And the nepotism is rampant on the set. Ivan Reitman's
three kids and Crystals two daughters are involved in the film as actors
and crew members. And since Crystal and Williams have been working on Comic
Relief together forever, there is a real family feel to the proceedings.
Director Ivan Reitman has created "Meatballs," "Stripes,"
"Ghostbusters," "Twins," "Junior," (fond of
one word titles, isn't he?), and the upcoming "Commandments."
He is the master at pulling laughs and our heart strings at the same time.
But it takes a lot to keep two of our present day comedic geniuses from
running away with a movie. And Reitman just can't keep these two from leaving
their fingerprints all over everything. Williams and Crystal essentially
play themselves and so the only true moments come from Hofheimer, the kid.
Having two teenage sons, I was interested in the reactions of those critics
without kids. Described as everything from "mouth-breathing"
to "bottom- feeding," I made a note not to invite these critics
to meet my boys. After all, Hofheimer seemed like a pretty typical delusional,
hormonally driven, messed-up teen to me and better off than most. But the
film isn't better than most. "Father's Day" has its moments but
not enough to sustain it. Rated PG-13. Warner Bros.