Tuesday, September 4, 2018

$5 a Day (2008)

Synopsis: Estranged father and son patch up their differences and take on powerful politician who screwed them both….oh wait, that’s the Synopsis for Return of the Jedi
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Christopher Walken is hilarious as Nat, an eccentric con-artist and deadbeat dad dying to reconnect with his troubled son, Flynn (Alessandro Nivola, The Eye, Laurel Canyon).” [Funny how Sharon Stone appears on the DVD jacket even though she doesn’t participate in the road trip]
What Did I Learn?: Apparently, America’s countryside looks never really changes when you drive from Atlantic City to Albuquerque.
You Might Like This Movie If: You'd love to be able to live on $5 a day. 
Really?: 1) I realize Sharon Stone is (or was) a big star, but she’s in this film for a grand total of 10 minutes, and she gets third billing? (see: “Blurb from the DVD Jacket”) 2)So, Ritchie publicly embarrasses Burt, even after Burt paid over $100 grand to keep his silence? Burt is a bit of a douche, but that struck me as tacky. 3) What are the odds of Ritchie inadvertently learning the truth about his mom just before he discovers the real reason for the road trip? That seemed a little convenient for me. 4) I’m pretty certain – given their checkered history -  that Ritchie would simply drive to the nearest airport and abandon Nat entirely after learning that Nat got him fired from his health inspector job. 
Rating: I found myself pleasantly surprised (if only because I wasn’t expecting much) when I sat down to watch $5 a Day a few nights ago. The plot is a little predictable and contrived, but it delivers some laughs as well as a few genuinely tender scenes between Walken and Nivola who star as a very dysfunctional father-son duo. It’s an interesting low-budget misfire.  7/10 stars.

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