Movie review: Owen Wilson and Ed Helms play fraternal twins who discover that their mother (Glenn Close) has lied to them about the circumstances of their birth. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.
Originally titled “Bastards,” this raunchy road-trip comedy has been released at year’s end as the less confrontational “Father Figures.” The storyline is also known within the movie as ‘’Operation Who’s Your Daddy?”
If that sounds a little self-conscious, not to mention arty, you haven’t seen anything yet. One outlandish scenario follows another as people like Terry Bradshaw (the football star) turn up to shoot the breeze. So do Ving Rhames and Oscar winners Christopher Walken and J.K. Simmons.
In the center of the story are Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, playing fraternal twins who discover that their free-spirited mother (Glenn Close, echoing her “Big Chill” matriarch role) has lied to them about the circumstances of their birth. Kyle (Wilson) is the less responsible of the two, Peter (Helms) is an uptight proctologist, and at first they seem incompatible. But their journey through family secrets delivers surprising charm.
Movie Review ★★½
‘Father Figures,’ with Ed Helms, Owen Wilson, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, J.K. Simmons, Terry Bradshaw. Directed by Lawrence Sher, from a screenplay by Justin Malen. 113 minutes. Rated R for language and sexual references throughout. Opens Dec. 22 at several theaters.
The first-time director, Lawrence Sher, clearly values the contributions of his actors. Katt Williams has fun as a hitchhiker who’ll put up with almost anything to get a ride with the twins. Helms and Wilson are sometimes a stretch as brothers, especially in the more emotional scenes. But Close is majestic as the mother, a supporting role that feels bigger than it is.
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