In his senior year at a Manhattan prep school, George (Highmore) can't muster up the energy to do his schoolwork. A bright kid with serious artistic talent, he's in trouble with the principal (Underwood) for failing his classes. He's also uninterested in communicating with his mother (Wilson) or stepdad (Robards). The class' hot bad girl Sally (Roberts) takes an interest in him, but he can't do much more than follow her around, even when his mentor painter (Angarano) urges him to make a move.
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The film tells the very simple story of how three generations of men deal with the death of one woman, their mother (for two) and wife (for one). Aaron Stanford is the twentysomething slacker who works in a high school cafeteria and is very protective of his deceased mom. Bruce Dern plays the aging father who carries on a long-term affair with a local shopkeeper (Elizabeth Ashley). Jayce Bartok is the elder son, a struggling musician who returns home when he hears the sad news, apparently just to look morose as he walks around town.
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Cry Funny Happy, a 2003 Sundance feature and a recent entry in the 2003 Independent Film Festival of Boston, displays Neave's deft feel for both the power and idiocy of human conversation. However, he's not interested in the witty, refined banter of say, a Woody Allen film - instead, Neave gives us a voyeuristic look at the nitty gritty, the stuff people say when they don't have a smart script to fall back on.
Continue reading: Cry Funny Happy Review