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Father's Day
Starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Screenplay by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel

IN SHORT: Oh boy are you gonna be disappointed.

Here's the situation. Were anyone else, perhaps two completely unknown actors who really needed the work, to star in a film like Fathers' Day, based on a French film that should have stayed put, you'd probably walk out of the theater thinking that the film was just a little disappointing. Then again, you wouldn't have walked in with much anticipation of anything, had you indeed walked in. The story behind Fathers' Day is so thin, you probably would think twice before renting.

That story is this: 16-year-old son, Scott (Charlie Hofheimer) has run away from home, after an argument with his father. His mother, Colette (Nastassja Kinski), whose hubby is prepared to wait the kid out until he comes home on his own isn't prepared to do the same. So she seeks out a boyfriend of 17 years past, a successful lawyer named Jack Lawrence (Billy Crystal) whom she informs is the father of the child. Jack doesn't buy it, fully. So Collette seeks out another bedmate of the same period -- it was 1980, people had lots of sex back then -- named Dale Putley (Robin Williams). Dale's life is such a mess, suicide could be a step up. Dale starts the search and stumbles across Jack, who has changed his mind. They find the kid and the movie still has 70 minutes or so to go.

Each minor scene exists to allow Williams and Crystal a linking scene to play the comedy game. On stage they do this well. On TV they do this well. With a script they seem to be improvising between scenes that involve other actors. The two of them are constrained by the scenes on either side of their comedic duets and what they deliver is so loose, it isn't tremendously funny.

Amusing, yes, but not as funny as you'd expect from Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. About the only thing in this movie that you'll be anxious to tell your friends about is the superstar cameo that shows up out of the blue spouting multiple tattoos and body piercings. It's a good thing that this is a movie role, 'cuz it would take a brave heart to go through all the needle pain that the tattoos and piercings would require.

Yeah, that hint is about as subtle as a flying mallet, but there's little else I can say to recommend this movie. So...

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Fathers' Day, he would have paid...


A buck for the weak jokes. Another for the cameo. I'm being kind. Your ticket price cost is better spent as a donation "Comic Relief," the charity organization the stars support. Call 800-323-5275.

Click to buy films starring Robin Williams
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