My husband and I turned this one off after ten minutes. Too much foul language.
9 of 17 member(s) found this review helpful.
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 03/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever wondered why high-priced, high roller and powerful actors take on roles in bad movies? That's the question you'll ask yourself if you watch this drivel.
Perhaps the answer is three generations of Douglases -- Kirk, Michael and Cameron -- appear in "It Runs in the Family". The two older Douglases play Jewish (Gromberg) lawyers (Kirk a retired former partner now overcoming a stroke) while son Asher (Cameron) is a slacker attending college. The cast includes Bernadette Peters as Michael's wife and Rory Culkin and their younger son.
My onscreen guide said the movie was taken from a short story by the guy that wrote "Christmas Story" and was supposed to be a followup on that success based on memories of the pre-teen son, which would be Culkin. Whomever wrote that never saw this movie!
This script was apparently about family dysfunction, since the dad wants to do the nasty with a woman he knows from a soup kitchen, the college boy can't keep his pants on and ends up in trouble with the cops over drugs, and the younger son also has a romantic entanglement with a skag he knows from school. The old man's wife dies, too, pushing him into Michael's disheveled household.
This sounds formulaic except the formula doesn't work. Instead of being drawn into the lives of these losers, you laugh at the silly predicaments created for them by the awkward script. There is hardly a moment in the entire film that represents anything remotely close to real family life. Every moment seems to be taken over by one calamity or another, usually of the male Douglases creation.
For me, this was a memorable film in a negative way. If Michael Douglas made $20 million for this movie, the people that bankrolled this turkey should ask for a 95 percent refund. For, in addition to the movie being a loser, Michael Douglas is badly out of shape in it with a big gut that sticks out. So much for the beautiful people, eh?
Unless you are a Douglas film completist or totally dedicated to seeing something starring a bunch of family members, steer clear of this bomb. It is funny, agreed, but not in positive ways."
Watch it, you might as well...
K. Aspelund | New York, New York United States | 01/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""It runs in the family" is a good movie, not a great movie, but a good movie. It traces the love lives of 3 generations of one family through four different story lines. From grand parents, to Parents, to two Grandchildren. The movie drags at times, and the storyline is full of holes. The problem with the movie is that they chose to cut away from the relationships of each pair in the movie and go with something a little too off beat (for example: Mike douglas' pro bono case at his firm), that really did nothing for the over-all story. The best scenes of the movie come from the parts with Kirk Douglas and his amazingly beautiful (ex-real-life) wife Diane. And the scenes between Mike Douglas and Bernadette Peters. We all know most of the other actors abilities, but I think Diane deserves special honors...she was terrific...and Bernadette Peters, whom I feel is one of the most underrated actresses we have, and i hope we see more of her on screen, she is absolutely breathtaking. But, unfortunately, these are the only good points about hte movie...almost all the scenes with the younger generations are pretty bad...i dont know who did research for the script, but I'm not sure if college life was acurately portrayed. Plus, the performances were bad with the younger generations...except for Rory culkin...he was all right. So, the point is, it is a movie that tries to be "Terms of Endearment", it just has lots of meaningless and pointless scenes, and introduces odd characters (like Malik). Look for the very nice scene towards the beginnning of the movie when the family shares in passover...It feels very impromptu and has some great moments from all actors. Also the scene where Mike Douglas and Bernadette Peters exchange anniversary gifts. I love Bernadette Peters."
Good cast/mediocre movie
Karen Potts | Lake Jackson, Texas | 10/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"With Kirk and Michael Douglas leading the cast in a movie, it should have turned out much better than it did. They star as two of three generations of highly unlikeable men who are self-centered, self-indulgent and critical of everyone else. The best scenes do occur between father and son, but there are not enough of them to raise the level of this movie to more than just average. Their long-suffering wives are played by
Bernadette Peters and Kirk's real ex-wife, and are the only likeable ones in the picture. It's too bad that the Douglas talents are not used to better advantage, but they are limited by a weak script that cannot be propped up by acting talent. Better luck next time!"
Meet The Douglases...
David Hugaert | Honolulu, HI United States | 05/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""It Runs In The Family" takes both a candid and panoramic view inside the lives of three generations of one of Hollywood's most famous families - the Douglases. According to the (entire) film's storyline, Dad Kirk is a senior citizen trying to cope with both retirement and a somewhat "hectic" home life, including a stern, yet loveable wife trying to keep her head above water. Son Michael is a crusty, tough-as-nails lawyer trying to balance both career and family, with a son in college - who's not sure about himself, let alone what to make of his surroundings. Most of the time, the family seems to have it all together, with most of the clan displaying a close-knit relationship, all except for father and son in certain instances. These two squabble about even the most petty of things, but who said a familial relationship has to be free of disagreements and strife, especially between father and son (in certain cases)? It is these particular moments that draws the viewer into the scenario of "IRITF". Seeing father, son and grandson (together) out on an uninhabited lake in a canoe out in the middle of nowhere is priceless, and is just one of this movie's many tender moments that cannot be bought or sold. But, if you want to see good cinematic relations up close and sort-of personal, you'll have to purhase a ticket (or video) to become an "adopted" member of the Douglas family. So, get in line at your theater (or video retailer in the near future) and sign these important papers today!"
An Engaging Story With No Conclusion
Tucker Andersen | Wall Street | 04/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie combines fiction with reality, since it a family dramar peopled with seveal generations of actors from the Douglas family. Mitchell Gromberg, the family patriarch in the movie is played by Kirk Douglas, and Evelyn his wife is played by Diana Douglas, Kirk's ex-wife. Their son Alex is played by Michael Douglas, who also produced the movie. As you watch the film you wonder howe closely it mirrors the complex and sometimes difficult real life relationship between the Michael and Kirk. Michael's son Cameron makes his very effective acting debut as the older grandson Asher. The movie seems to convey real depth the relationships of the film's characters'; this was undoubtedly aided by their shared personal experiences over several generations. The remaining family members are Eli, Asher's younger brother played by Rory Culkin and Alex's wife Rebecca portrayed by Bernadette Peters.The movie basically portrays the family life (or lack thereof) and problems of a NY household dominated by Mitchell, who founded the law firm where Alex now works. Mitchell is frustrated by a speech impediment and some physical inabilites that are the lingering results of a stroke; his son and grandsons all bear the unspoken burden of living up to his achievements (after all, IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY). Meanwhile, Rebecca and Evelyn act as the calming influences attempting to maintain the normalcy of family relationships. However, several incidents collectively threaten the family's stabilty. Among these: Asher is selling pot and failing his senior year at college, Alex gets propositioned by an assistant in the soup kitchen where he volunteers, and Eli is totally noncommunicative with his parents to the point wheres the chooses to use an Excel spreadsheet to request an increase in his allowance. (Yes, there is some humor and a few really hilarious moments in the film.) These incidents eventuallly combine with the deaths of two members of their extended family to create a considerable degree of tension and the need to initiate the type of communication that has been lacking in their relationships.This movie tells a very complex story with the diverse threads of the family members' individual needs for achievement, love and power (control) interwoven with grief and the difficulties of dealing with the transitions through the various stages of life - whether growing up, adulthood or old age. It is openly emotional, not in the sense of pulling on your heartstrings but in exploring the emotions created in others by the actions of the characters involved. While there is enough humor to lesson the tension on occasion, the emotion in many of the scenes is so intense that you become completely involved with the characters.The upside of this film is paradoxically the downside, it is too complex and too much a mirror of life to reach any conclusion. The only stories that have ended are those of the two characters that have died. This is not a movie that ties up any of the loose ends, although it does provide a few glimmers of hope. This is a well acted and directed slice of life, so it is recommended if you like that sort of film. But I only rated it four stars because it does not achieve my five star criteria of wanting to view it multiple times, two would be my absolute limit. (In comparison to the five star recommendation of MOONLIGHT MILE -... - which dealt with the themes of death, family dysfunction and noncommunication in a much more uplifting way, much more frequent humor, and with a wonderful Hollywood ending.) So, as repeatedly articulated by Eli in response to any question that he is asked, "whatever" (you prefer you can read into the ending and the message of this movie)."