Save time and money: watch the trailer and you’ll get everything you need to know about this one.
When I interviewed director Alberto Caviglia earlier this month and I asked what kind of movie he’d make with a big Hollywood budget, he told me he’d like to make “a biographical film alla Gabriele Muccino, about Gabriele Muccino, with Gabriele Muccino, just to show that he isn’t the only one that’s able to make an American film with a big budget”. (He’s funny – I love that guy.)
After watching Muccino’s latest, Fathers and Daughters (Padri e Figlie), I’m really starting to wonder why. Why is Muccion the only Italian director that’s able to make an American film with a big budget?
Padri e Figlie has a promising cast: Russell Crowe plays an author named Jake, Amanda Seyfried his screwed-up daughter Katie, Aaron Paul, her sap of a boyfriend, and Jane Fonda has a small part as Crowe’s publicist. Nothing to complain about here; bad dialogue is bad dialogue and I don’t know what I expected any of them to do with their syrupy sweet lines.
And I’m not sure why I bothered watching at all, because I completely guessed the entire plot and felt bullied into crying just from watching the trailer. I really hate this kind of movie, the ones that you know before it even starts is going to have that maudlin and manipulative-as-hell melodrama that’ll make your stomach hurt one way or another.
This tear-jerker is of epic proportions; It’s got the evil aunt ( Diane Kruger) and uncle (Bruce Greenwood) in the big mansion who are trying to take little Katie away from Jake (I don’t recall a scene in which Auntie’s not got a glass of wine that she’s not sloshing back), the tortured writer and the grown-up slutty daughter with daddy issues, but she’s got a heart of gold and saves orphans; Muccino should have given her rescue puppies with cancer and it would have been the complete package of soap opera slop.
Maybe we should give Muccino a rest and give somebody else the big Hollywood budget. I think Gabriele Muccino needs a little time out.