Everybody's a critic - 'It Runs in the Family'

Friday, May 2, 2003

One star (out of four)

If you are a fan of the Douglas family, don't go see "It Runs in the Family." You will surely be disappointed.

My husband said it should have been entitled, "Life and Times with a Dysfunctional Family." I agree. The drama, based in New York City, traces the trials and tribulations of an extended family (The Grombergs). The famous duo, Kirk Douglas and his son, Michael, are incredible actors but not in this film. Michael Douglas' mother, played by his real mother, Diana, appears to be the only sane, responsible one of the bunch. Son Cameron Douglas adding the third generation does an adequate job in his movie debut.

"It Runs in the Family" seems to be a glorified home movie, not even one you would want to rent. This movie probably wouldn't have made it to the theaters without the personal investment of the Douglas family.

- Joanie Skinner, elementary school teacher

One star (out of four)

"It Runs in the Family" is a story about the Grombergs. Alex (Michael Douglas), Mitchell (Kirk Douglas), and Asher (Cameron Douglas) are three generations of Grombergs who don't communicate. The plot focuses on how the Grombergs deal with loss and tragedy in the midst of their lack of communication.

I read an interview with Michael Douglas a year or two ago that said he and Kirk wanted to make a movie, but they were waiting until Kirk more fully recovered from his stroke. What they should have done while waiting was find a more interesting script. While the movie does have the appeal of having the Douglases in it, the story has no message. It just seems to go nowhere, and I spent a lot of time watching the clock.

The humor was not very funny, and the drama was not very dramatic. I expected more.

- Michael Peterson, police officer

Three and a half stars (out of four)

In "It Runs in the Family," Michael Douglas stars with his real-life family: His father, Kirk Douglas, his mother, Diana Douglas, and his son, Cameron Douglas. This is a story of three generations. The first have lived a full life and are facing the end of their years with ill health and being alone. The second generation is in the middle and dealing with aging parents, working, raising a family and keeping their marriage together. The youngest generation is trying to figure out where they fit in and making the mistakes that accompany being young. I found myself caring for this family and empathizing as if they were friends. We are all hoping for the same things in our own lives: The life-long love of a spouse, parents who love us no matter what, and for our kids to be happy and to succeed at life. It's true of whichever generation you are currently part of.

- Tammy Elias, business owner

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