November 21, 2014
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Don Fowler
2.5 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Defies categorizing)

This movie may be "based on true events" and it may be well acted, but it still left us unsure about how we felt about it.

Chris Pine is Sam, a commodities trader who is deeply into himself and not above breaking the law. The FTC is after him, and his boss has threatened to fire him unless he makes things right immediately.

The phone rings. It's his mother (Michelle Pfeiffer). His father has died. Sam despised his father and tried to purposely miss his flight to avoid the funeral and straighten out his own mess.

We immediately disliked him and couldn't figure out what his girlfriend (Olivia Wilde) saw in him. But she took charge, got them on a flight to California, and they arrived at his mother's house, albeit after the funeral.

The estate lawyer presents Sam with a toilet kit containing a brief note and $15,000, with instructions to give it to an 11-year-old boy named Josh Davis. He discovers that Josh is actually his nephew, and Frankie, his attractive mother (Elizabeth Banks) is his half-sister. Sam learns that he had good reason for hating his father, who had lived a double life.

And all that is just the set-up for the bulk of the movie, which comes down to, should I tell her or not?

This is where we really lost our caring for Sam, as he became conflicted over keeping the money or giving it to the troubled kid, telling his mother the truth, and telling Frankie who he really is.

Although there is no outward sexual involvement between Sam and Frankie (Sam treats her as a friend), it is obvious that Frankie has more than sisterly feelings for him.) And Josh becomes attached to his new friend. What will happen when he leaves?

This is where we became frustrated with Sam. How could he not tell her? Didn't he see where the relationship was going? How self-centered and selfish can he be? Can he make all this right?

Well, that's all we'll tell you.

You may like and accept the ending, which resolves one issue, but leaves out completely what will happen with the FTC.

How much this movie follows what really happened, we don't know. We do know that our sympathies lie with Frankie and not with Sam.

Rated PG-13, with some profanity, drug use and adult themes.


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