The Thing About My Folks
A middle-aged writer (Paul Reiser) spends a long weekend driving around upstate New York with his elderly father (Peter Falk), who has been abandoned suddenly by his wife of 50 years (Olympia Dukakis, making the most of her brief screen time). Reiser wrote the script himself, and he quickly dispels any fears that we’re in for a whining get-even-with-dad harangue. There are moments of anger, but far more of picaresque adventure and hilarious bantering; the movie has warmth and compassion untainted by sentimentality, and the laughs are genuine, from somewhere deep inside. Under Raymond De Felitta’s unobtrusive direction, Falk and (especially) Reiser have never been better. Elizabeth Perkins plays Reiser’s wife, and Ann Dowd, Claire Beckman and Mimi Lieber contribute incisive cameos as his sisters.