Father Figures

Father Figures

In Theatres: 
Dec 22, 2017
Running Time: 
113 minutes

I fully anticipated Father Figures to be absolutely horrible. It contained so many of the markers of disappointments of comedies past. Familiar actors inhabiting all too familiar characters, devoid of any new ideas or diversity. I was fully prepared to groan myself to sleep, perchance, to dream that it would be over sooner than later; end credits or meteor, it did not matter.

Ed Helms plays a divorced father who is a very successful proctologist and is miserable because, we’re not really sure. It’s been several years since his divorce, but he is so unpleasant not even his son can stand being in his company. He’s the straight man to Owen Wilson’s blond cheerful, easy going, Hawaii (he pronounces Ha-vi-ee) obsessed, oblivious goofball. They’re supposed to be twins and although it is unsaid, they must be fraternal.

On the day of their mother’s wedding it comes to light that who they believed was their deceased father was a myth their mother told them. They begin a cross country search for their father that contains false starts, new leads, fist fights, possibly incestuous one night stands, Kat Williams being a refreshing presence, but never once a suggestion of a DNA test. While that may seem too grounded an idea for such a film, it’s so ripe for potential comedy it is shocking this idea skipped all together.

There are a few genuine laughs and some actual heart in Father Figures, but it is ultimately forgettable. We’ve seen these actors play these characters before. None of the jokes are inventive nor adventurous, and there is the truly puzzling cultural appropriation of a Hawaiian greeting (honi). While I was surprised that I did not wish for the sweet release of death while viewing this film that does not make it worth 113 minutes of my holiday vacation.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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