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It Runs in the Family

It Runs in the Family



Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Rory Culkin, Cameron Douglas, Bernadette Peters, Diana Douglas

Powerhouse performers, and renowned father and son, Kirk and Michael Douglas, have been looking for years for something to work on together. It never seemed to come off. Either they just couldn’t find a good enough script, or they were both disjointedly busy in their own endeavours.

Belatedly, the duo found time only last year to work together, deciding on a script called “It runs in the Family”. And to make it even more of a family reunion, the tale allowed for Michael to hand his eldest, Cameron, a role in it, as well as his mother and Kirk’s ex-wife, Diana. Catherine-Zeta Jones must have been otherwise engaged.

Mitchell Gromberg [Kirk Douglas] is the patriarch of a swanky New York clan, who from the peripheral look to be your everyday run of the mill family squad, but in the inside, they’re no less dysfunctional than anyone else’s family. In fact, they’re probably more dysfunctional.

Alex [Michael Douglas] is rather disenchanted by his job at a prestigious Law Firm. And seeks comfort in the arms of another woman - Albeit briefly.

Uncle Stephen [Mark Hammer] lives in a nursing home and is suffering from Dementia, Grandma [Diana Douglas] is severely ill, and Alex’s psychologist wife, Rebecca, was reasonably happy up until she heard about her husband’s infidelity.

To boot, Alex and Rebecca’s two sons have their own problems. Oldest, Asher, a college student, seems more interested in smoking bongs than hitting the books and young Eli [Rory Culkin] is at the awkward age where he’s inquisitive about the opposite sex.

First things first: Jesse Wigutow’s screenplay is no more than a good telemovie. The only difference here is that the performers are the commanding Douglas clan. In fact, if not for the fantastic performances of the posse, it’d be pretty non-specific. But thankfully, we have got solid tour guides to see us through the motions. Michael Douglas is as fantastic as always, giving a heartfelt performance as the disheartened husband, who’s always wanted approval from his chilly Dad. Kirk, who you’ve got to feel for when you see the awful speech problem the stroke left on him, is as unassailable as always, even slightly humorous. And in no lesser extent, little-known Cameron is also quite a revelation, giving a top performance as the eldest of the boys. Here’s a face to watch indeed.

Together, they all click remarkably – with the best scenes occurring between Michael and Kirk. They’ve some amusing, some touching, and some ultimately heart-warming moments together. Be interesting to see how much the on-screen roles mirror life.

Despite smelling of an obvious Vanity project, “It Runs in the Family” is entertaining. It mightn’t be the best vehicle the Douglas’s could have chosen to do together. But in whatever case, it works. And mainly due to their presence.


Rating :


Reviewer : Clint Morris



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