Sunday, July 15, 2018

Movie Review: "Boundaries" (2018)

Director: Shana Feste
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

A woman with abandonment issues and her teenage son, who has recently been expelled from school, are forced to take her pot-dealing geriatric father on a road trip to move in with her sister in Los Angeles after he was kicked out of his retirement home.

"Your father is incapable of helping you, Laura." (Image Source)
Ahhhh, the road trip, the ultimate place where people with longstanding issues can air all their grievances and eventually come to an understanding with one another. At least that's how it happens in the movies. "Boundaries" is written and directed by Shana Feste, who has written and directed movies like "Country Strong" and "Endless Love." The story revolves around a woman name Laura Jaconi (Vera Farmiga), who is dealing with abandonment issues due to her father never being there for her. She has a son named Henry (Lewis MacDougall), who has some problems of his own. He has a penchant for drawing people as naked caricatures and very obviously likes to stir up trouble when he can. His antics have recently gotten him expelled from school. Laura is left with minimal options since she has no money for a special school. While dealing with that, she receives word that her father Jack (Christopher Plummer) has been kicked out of his retirement home because of his "low moral fiber." Basically, he was caught growing pot in the community shed and was kicked out because of it. Laura gets her sister Jojo (Kristen Schaal) to agree to take their father in and let him live with her. Now, Laura just has to get Frank from their home in Seattle to her sister's house in Los Angeles. Since her father wants to keep his Rolls-Royce, they have to take a road trip down the west coast.
"She can't help it, she likes an underdog." (Image Source)
"Boundaries" is a movie you have seen dozens of times already. It is the most basic road trip flick you can picture in your mind. It takes characters who don't exactly get along and sticks them in a confined space to get them to hash out their problems while on the road. Jack gets to make up for years of neglect while making some money and bonding with his grandson at the same time. Laura gets to spend time with her father, who wasn't there for her when she was younger. Henry gets to finally learn about who his grandpa is and get a male authority figure in his life. Despite these cliches, the narrative doesn't flow all that well and feels very disjointed at times. It is written in a way that introduces oddball characters to create opportunities for Jack to do things that will make him look like a decent person despite years of being an asshole. Because of this, much of the film feels contrived and formulaic and tends to drag through its runtime.

That being said, the movie as a whole is not entirely pointless. Each of the actors gives a good performance, though it would be more surprising if Christopher Plummer gave a bad one. Each actor adds a little something to the mix, and "Boundaries" is as good as it is because of the acting alone. Without the performances, this would be a derivative mess full of expected drama. There are a couple of humorous moments here and there, but much of the off-color dark humor may be off-putting for some viewers. Technically speaking, a couple of things stood out and bothered us. The directing, the lighting, and the camerawork are done in such a way that some of the shots look over-saturated while others look murky. Some of these technical aspects got so bad that it took us out of the story and distracted us from what was actually happening on-screen.
"I think they're rude, judging a man by his diapers." (Image Source)
"Boundaries" is very mediocre and forgettable for us, despite some good performances by actors who never give bad performances.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~3.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment