‘Dealing With Dad’ Overview: A Household Dysfunction
“Dealing With Dad,” a low-budget indie from the writer-director Tom Huang, is a surprisingly lighthearted film about two severe topics: generational trauma and continual melancholy. It tells the story of three siblings — the high-strung workaholic Margaret (Ally Maki), the layabout comedian ebook nerd Larry (Hayden Szeto) and the timid, recently-separated Roy (Peter S. Kim) — who should return to their household house to assist care for his or her father (Dana Lee), disconsolate and bedridden after being laid off from his lifelong job. Though involved for him, the youngsters are conflicted, having suffered at their father’s considerably tyrannical arms rising up. The movie is at its most compelling when tackling this stress between care and resentment head-on — it has a hoop of fact that’s sadly squandered every time Huang reaches for simple laughs.
The comedy isn’t spiky and tightly wound up across the darker materials, as it’s in, say, “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” “Heathers” or “Little Miss Sunshine.” Rather the humor is glib and fatuous, with the broad, clichéd tone of an old style community sitcom. Lame fats jokes, gags about somebody being gender-fluid and outdated punch strains about “American Idol” and Tucker Max abound.
At one level, the siblings dine out at an ostensibly upscale restaurant, and there are over-the-top complaints about arugula on pizza. It wouldn’t have been humorous in 2005, when fancy-food jokes have been no less than much less stale. In a contemporary movie a couple of household’s strained efforts to handle their patriarch’s psychological sickness, nevertheless, it demonstrates a essential misunderstanding of the fabric’s strengths. The household is hurting. Dumbing them down doesn’t assist.
Dealing With Dad
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 46 minutes. Rent or buy on most major platforms.