It Runs in the Family
A New York lawyer (Michael Douglas) grapples with his own dysfunctional family and unresolved issues between himself and his father. Jesse Wigutow’s script is a 10-cent domestic soap opera with little insight or dramatic power, and Fred Schepisi’s direction can’t smooth out the wrinkles. What makes the movie interesting is mainly its gimmick: The lawyer’s father is played by Michael Douglas’ real father, Kirk; Michael’s druggie son is played by his real son Cameron; and Michael’s mother is played by his real mother, Diana (Kirk’s first wife, who divorced him in 1951). Other roles are filled by Bernadette Peters as Michael’s wife, and Rory Culkin (a standout) as his younger son. The threadbare script profits from the family reunion; Kirk and Michael, Kirk and Diana, and Michael and Cameron all have rapports no writer could invent.