Unstrung Heroes is one of my alltime favorite books, and I was deeply disappointed how the filmmakers homogenized, pasteurized, de-ethnisized and generally watered it down. Granted, paring is a function of filmmaking - but the treacley script fails to capture the memoir's honesty, humor or dark irony. Unlike the book, the film wallows in sentimentality. Gone are 2 of the uncles - most missed is Uncle Leo, whom the young boy visits in the asylum that's been his home for more than 30 years. Instead of being genuinely mad and edgy, the two remaining uncles play out like Oscar and Felix on The Odd Couple. (They've been Disneyfied, like the rest of the major characters). And the boy's profoundly evil best friend - Ash - is reduced to a sort of Eddie Haskell. This film loses a lot - mostly an urban edge - by shifting locales from New York City to Pasadena (!!!) On top of that, the father (John Turturro) is shorn of all humor - the Sidney Lidz portrayed in the book was an extremely witty (though deeply flawed) man. Turturro does a fantastic job with a badly scripted, unplayable part. He transcends this disappointing adaptation and warrants 5 stars. And Disney has added all kinds of dopey capers (like the boy "saving" his uncles from eviction) to "move the action along." Really dumb and insulting to the viewer! My advice: Buy the book! It's richly rewarding, still in paperback and dirt-cheap.