It Runs In The Family (2003)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 2003.  Buena Vista International, Family Films, , GreenStreet Productions, .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Once again returning to the classy New York film genre that he handled so well in Six Degrees of Separation, Australian-born Fred Schepisi ably directs this enjoyable comedy-drama. It centres around the men of a privileged family who can’t seem to stop performing well below their levels of potential. Kirk Douglas (giving a marvelously spry performance so few years after his near-fatal stroke) has trouble communicating his emotions to both his wife and his son (Michael Douglas), and when he does try it comes out as criticism. Michael is a lawyer in his father’s firm who can’t seem to find a good enough reason to pursue the life of public advocacy that he truly desires. His eldest son () is trouble with a capital T, while his youngest (, giving a shrewd and intelligent performance) is withdrawing into himself without sharing his feelings about school or his burgeoning interest in girls. The characters are all lovingly written and performed effortlessly by a family of actors whose personal connections definitely colour the work they do on screen (, Kirk’s first wife and Michael’s mother, also appears as the family matriarch). The story itself has no momentum whatsoever, leaving a pleasant and tasteful experience that will really only please those who enjoy watching a show business family air out their dysfunctions for the world to see. absolutely shines as Michael’s pensive wife; her scenes with her husband are the best, while Cameron’s relationship with an emaciated university student are its tackiest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s