Top positive review
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Jon Bon Jovi
on 5 September 2013
** Contains midpoint plot synopsis**
The movie lures you into a false sense of security as it shows a normal middle class New Jersey family all while playing an acoustical "indy" guitar. Paul Giamatti plays a lawyer who isn't doing too well financially (apparently he doesn't handle bankruptcies). He has an aged rich client Leo Poplar, (Burt Young, Pauly from Rocky) who is in the early stages of dementia. Unable to contact Leo's daughter in Ohio (we later find out she was in rehab) he goes to court and gets appointed as his legal guardian/caretaker. The state was going to place Leo in a care facility, however Giamatti convinces the judge Leo would be better at home and agrees to take care of Leo at home...for the $1500 a month fee. As it turns out Giamatti was dishonest (not a lawyer!) and puts Leo in a home anyway, telling him it was the judge's orders.
As fate would have it, Kyle, Leo's 16 year old grandson from Ohio is sitting on his doorstop as Paul drives by. He takes Kyle in temporarily. Paul also coaches the HS wrestling team which doesn't win matches. As it turns out Kyle is a ringer. When Kyle's hated mother shows up, she throws a wrench into the works as Paul's deception has become uncovered.
The characters in the story are realistic, they all have flaws that must be dealt with. When they have an opportunity to redeem themselves, like a good Disney flick they all take it. As a family film, I have to question some things. The movie drops the F bomb in stages. Kyle runs away from home in Ohio and takes the bus. Kyle at one point pushes his mother down on a bed and holds her down in anger.
The acting was great. Alex Schaffer did a good job as Kyle. Heart warming and funny at times. Highly recommend.