Finding Home

"Bad"

Finding Home Review


Ridiculously awkward direction and poor pacing are only two of the black marks on Finding Home, an overdone family drama that plays like a Hallmark special -- circa 1970s. Directed and co-written by Lawrence D. Folds, creator of action/horror entries like Don't Go Near the Park, this fluffy feature contains a curious combination: lead actors of minimal skill and three supporting actors with top-shelf pasts.

Oddly enough, all three were most visible -- and successful -- during the 1970s and early '80s. Louise Fletcher, noted for her Oscar-winning turn as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, plays the just-deceased grandmother of the story, remembered lovingly through flashbacks; Jason Miller, intense Oscar nominee for The Exorcist, is here as grandma's helpful estate attorney; and Geneviève Bujold (Tightrope, Choose Me, Dead Ringers) plays the caretaker of the Maine lakeside inn Grandma owned for decades.

On the other side of this equation is Lisa Brenner, an attractive actress who doesn't have the chops to pull her lead character out of Finding Home's boring, predictable dialogue. She plays Amanda, a city-girl go-getter (cliché) who travels to Maine after hearing of her dear grandmother's passing. Amanda hadn't seen the family matriarch since her preteen years when, for reasons that appear as cloudy dreams and memories (cliché), she was dragged from grandma's dock by her overprotective mother.

So what's the big secret? Well, if you aren't able to piece it together within the first few dream sequences, no matter -- your interest will be waning quickly anyway. The script by Folds and two co-writers feels like it was written by a couple of smart teenage girls in a screenwriting class. The dialogue is so cut-to-the-chase predictable that it's nearly all artifice. Characters spend too much time explaining things to one another -- or flashing back -- for our benefit, not theirs. Worse, every character lacks depth almost completely, possessing no extra life details that would add realism to the drama.

Considering the story contains an illicit love affair and a large cast of characters (a nice touch), you'd think even the language would have some weight to it. Instead, it sounds like a squeaky-clean play from Amish country. At first, the approach seems innocent and romantic; but when Amanda exclaims to an overly amorous boyfriend, "You just came here to jump me!" it becomes apparent that these guys don't know how to write for women. Considering the three leads are women, that's a problem.

Even if you do get taken in by the Nicholas Sparks-type story, you'll need your patience. Establishing shots, while pretty, are too long. So are many scenes. Even some story development feels like it takes forever, as Amanda envisions Grandma throughout the house, considers whether she'll sell the old place, and wonders what the hell happened to her as a child. The mood and tone are the same throughout and the lack of even slight variation makes Finding Home seem longer than it is.

Even the title is a touchy-feely nugget of faux literature. Thomas Wolfe may have been right when he said you can't go home again. But, in this case, you really shouldn't.



Finding Home

Facts and Figures

Run time: 124 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th April 2005

Distributed by: Castle Hill Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lawrence D. Foldes

Producer: Victoria Paige Meyerink

Starring: as Amanda, as Dave, as Katie, as Esther, as Grace

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