The Savages

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"That's it?" I said to no one in particular as The Savages, written by Tamara Jenkins, came to an unsatisfying questionable end. My mother, father, and I are sprawled out on the couch, the T.V. flickering in the dark room as credits approach my television screen. On Fridays nights my family usually chooses a cheery, quirky new independent film recently delivered from Netflix, which I can usually rely on to be cute in it's own sort of way. If you are like me, well maybe this Sundance Festival premiered film is not for you.

The whole movie drags on, pathetically hanging on to the same point the whole movie...dying is not fun. Yet powerfully emotional, after awhile I would expect others to get tired of the glum, isolated scenes. It's about brother and sister Wendy (Laura Linney) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who rekindle their relationship with father Lenny Savage (Philip Savage) who has been struggling with dementia, by trying to find just the right nursing home, although all homes turn out (surprise! Surprise!) like the movie, utterly depressing. Yet, Wendy keeps on dragging Lenny from home to home, each worse than the last. Meanwhile, brief sideline scenes portray more about Wendy and Jon’s personal lives, such as Wendy’s relationship with married man, “Larry”, as if it will make it all better. And Jon dates polish woman from Krakow…okay…who finally makes a small exit from the movie by claiming her visa expired. In the end, Lenny passes away, Wendy makes her writing debut with a play about Jon and Lenny’s strained relationship, and the play comes to a well awaited closing with a very unsatisfying ending. Wendy returns to her apartment to find Larry, who then remarks Wendy’s dog was put to sleep while Wendy stayed at Jon’s house. Then the movie transitions to a scene with Wendy running down a street with an obese dog with a wheelchair. Hmm...Don’t be fooled by the cute movie poster or experienced actors. I’d give The Savages a thumbs down.





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