“THE HOLLARS” My rating: C+
98 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13
John Krasicki’s strengths as an actor — a sly sense of humor, emotional openess, a charitable view toward his own and other actors’ characters — are also on display in his feature film directing debut.
But despite a cast to die for and some heartfelt sentiment, “The Hollars” is a near miss, a movie in which everything seems just a degree or two out of whack.
Jim Strauss’s screenplay is yet another dysfunctional family dramedy.
Illness in the family brings NYC office drone John Hollar (Krasinksi) back to his middle American hometown. He leaves behind his pregnant girlfriend Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) and a dead-end job — what he really wants to do is write and illustrate graphic novels.
Ma Hollar (Margo Martindale) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even with that against her she shows more common sense than the menfolk of her clan, who are more or less eccentric idiots.
Dad Hollar (Richard Jenkins) lives in an emotional bubble of denial. Whenever he steps out of that bubble he collapses in tears. And he’s run the family’s plumbing business into the ground, forcing him to fire his oldest son Ron (Shallot Copley), who now lives in the basement.
Ron is a near-moron who is stalking the ex-wife with whom he has two little girls. And he harbors some absurd notions about minorities (he assumes that his mother’s surgeon, an Asian American, must be a master of at least one martial art).