6/10
Marisa Tomei as Diane Keaton's sister??? (Plus a review)
22 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I actually didn't mind this movie. I watched it with my girlfriend as neither as of us were motivated enough to jump on the Star Wars bandwagon but fancied watching a movie anyway. We didn't go in with high expectations and so weren't disappointed but...

I cannot accept this aspect of the movie. It's completely ridiculous! Marisa Tomei must be, what, at least 20 years younger than Diane Keaton, on top of that she looks about 30 years younger than her. Tomei is amazing looking and would've been a much more believable choice as Olivia Wilde's older sister in my view. Casting like this just takes you out of the story and makes it that much more difficult to invest in the dynamics of the characters. Why not just cast an older actress?

Other issues: Not enough exposition in relation to the dead sister. Too much reading between the lines on that one. Clearly it's going to be a major part of what's haunting the family but it feels brushed under the carpet. I'm starting to feel really sorry for Alan Arkin now too. His role in these indie films seems to be to have some sort of heart- attack or stroke. It's almost as if seeing his name in the titles gives you one the major plot points of the film. Couldn't the creators have been a little more imaginative? I also thought there was an issue with him being Diane Keaton's dad, what is he supposed to be, like 90? Keaton looks great, make no mistake, but she also looks her age, as does John Goodman by the way. It's unlikely that either of their parents would be too far away from a nursing home, unless they were freaks of nature (Goodman's aunt at least is more believable in this respect).

I did like the acting in the film though and the dynamics between the characters. Tomei's journey in the cop car was impossibly long, was she being deported to a different state? But I enjoyed her interaction with the policeman. Keaton and Goodman are a joy to watch, at any age, as is Alan Arkin, and Wilde and her army man sure did have chemistry. I felt having the doctor be her lover towards the end was a little contrived, however, did we really did that extra twist in the "will they won't they" saga?

So a movie which had a nice, albeit far from original message, which was well acted, yet with casting issues, which was also a little contrived and ultimately took the road of sentiment over pursuing any profound insight into human beings. Perhaps worth watching for some of the very organic and natural-feeling interactions which do occur within the film, but not to be entered with high expectations.
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