CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"The Thing About Peter Falk," a romantic comedy of the ages

Like most people, 87 year old Sye has bemoaned the sad
state of the recent motion pictures. Sye has not had
a good word for a movie until “The Thing about my
Folks” was released last weekend. Sye found it “Cute”
and he enjoyed that it was a nice “father-son movie.”
The audience I saw this movie with were of unanimous
opinion with Sye.

Written by and costarring Paul Reiser, “The Thing
About My Folks” is a slice of everyday life of an
American family. Narrated by Ben Kleinman (Reisner),
“The Thing about My Folks” begins with a son's
recollections about his father, Sam Kleinman (Peter
Falk). Sam has paid an impromptu visit to his only
son's family and sheepishly announces that his wife of
40 years has left him.

Since she only left a goodbye note, the son takes the
father on a diversionary road trip to a farm he is
thinking of purchasing. After a car accident, Sam
purchases a 1940 Ford and begins a road trip with his
son. While on the road, the father and son share a
baseball game, line dancing and discuss generational

The thing about road movies is that they feel
improvised. One scene features the
Klienman boys on a fishing exposition. Neither men
know how to fish, but both men seem intent on telling
the other what to do. Given their experiences on
stage and the comic circuit, respectively, Falk and
Reiser ham and egg it in a realistic way.

Inspired by his father, Reiser has stated that he
wrote his screenplay with Peter Falk in mind. Falk
proves that he still has gravitas. Falk shines with
moments of warmth, anger and humor. Given his life
experience, Falk makes Sam Klienman a charismatic
figure with a quiet dignity.

Director Raymond De Felitta and cienamtographer Dan
Gillham create a fine post card of upstate New York
during Autumn. As the 1940 Ford treks over the rivers
and brooks, the jazzy musical score creates an
irresistible visual poetry.

“The Thing about my Folks” is an ode to joy. While
the mother's motives are mysterious, Reiser's
screenplay creates no villains. Each character is a
flawed individual with a capacity for hope and love.
"The Thing about my Folks" is a rare movie nowadays
that presents an ensemble cast of characters with
noble motives.
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