Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friday night, we here at the MockingMovies household were in a movie-less funk with nothing to watch. Thank God, for Comcast giving us the option to spend too much money and watch movies that are still playing in theaters. The preview for "Happy Tears' presented what appeared to be a run of the mill dysfunctional family "dramedy" starring Rip Torn, Demi Moore, Parker Posey(this sold me on the movie) and Ellen Barkin. I have been a consummate fan of Parker Posey through her reign as the queen of the indies during the 90's and in her more conventional fare ("You've Got Mail" and "Scream 3"), and I had a feeling that she would raise this movie above the ordinary. I was not disappointed. There is so much going on here that is not hinted at in the trailer.
Moore and Posey are sisters who have to return home to take care of their father ( Rip Torn) who is beginning to suffer from dementia. The family dynamic is quickly set up with Moore being the older, responsible sister who takes care of and shelters her younger, quirky, needy sister. Rip Torn walks the fine line between being the dark comedy offered by his dementia and the more weighty prospect of becoming a burden on his daughters. All of this is the run of the mill part I referred to before. The unexpected comes in the form of trippy fantasy sequences Posey's characters lapses into when confronted with anything remotely challenging and the fantastic Ellen Barkin. Barkin is a drugged up homeless woman and possible prostitute who having hit rock bottom appears to have moved into Rip Torn's house under the guise of being his nurse. The running joke is that spends the entire movie with a stethoscope around her neck.

There is much to enjoy here and I would highly recommend "Happy Tears" .