Are Good Movies "Back"?

clive owen.JPGWhile not rising to the status of first rate, this film, "Boys Are Back," is interesting and worth seeing.

Sportswriter Joe Warr (Clive Owen) lives in Australia with his second wife, Katy (Laura Fraser), and their young son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), who is approximately eight years old.  In the beginning of the film, Katy dies of cancer, and Joe and Artie are emotionally destroyed.  Joe, who is a loving dad, proceeds to allow Artie to do whatever he wants.  Fortunately, the unusual freedom does not seem to have a deleterious effect on Artie.  Before long, Joe's teenage son from his first marriage, Harry (George MacKay), who lives in England with Joe's first wife, Flick (Natasha Little), pops in for a visit.  Harry has issues with his dad.

Joe is asked by his boss to cover an out-of-town tennis game.  Not wanting to leave his sons home alone, he decides to cover the match on the web.  He ultimately departs for the match, however, and while he is gone, the house is vandalized by local hooligans.  Harry feels responsible for allowing it to happen on his watch, and he angrily returns to his mother's home in England.  Joe and Artie follow him, and there begins a second story involving Harry and his relationship with his dad.

A. O. Scott of the New York Times did not like the film, using language such as "painfully unconvincing" in his review.  The plot could have turned into one big soap opera but did not for me due to the gifted acting of the entire cast, including Laura Fraser as Katy who is featured as a talking specter after she dies. I thought it more than held its own, especially during this period of really awful films.  I saw the movie at The Angelika Film Center, a truly unique theater in SoHo.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Ed Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989. He's credited with restoring fiscal stability to the city and creating affordable housing. He's also a film buff. More

Mayor Koch saved New York City from bankruptcy and restored the pride of New Yorkers during his three terms as mayor from 1978-1989. He restored fiscal stability by placing the city on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget. He created a housing program that provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing and created New York City's first merit judicial selection system. Prior to being mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Army his last year of college and served with the 104th Infantry Division. He received two battle stars and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946. He received his LL.B. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and hosts a call-in radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR). Mr. Koch appears weekly on NY1 television and is the author of ten autobiographical books.

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