Wendell Baker (Luke Wilson) is a dreamer and schemer whose latest scam lands him in jail, alienating him from his longtime girlfriend (Eva Mendes). Eternally optimistic, Wendell makes the most of his time behind bars and v... more »ows to turn his life around. Upon release, he gets a job at a retirement hotel, where he befriends some of the elderly residents. Wendell's new friends advise him on how to win back his girlfriend, while he helps them battle the hotel's evil head nurse Neil King (Owen Wilson) and his right-hand man McTeague (Eddie Griffin).« less
DeAnn T. (Dee) from ARDMORE, OK Reviewed on 4/5/2017...
This movie was fun and entertaining, but it is not a movie I want to keep in my library to watch again. It is well worth watching one time. I love the Luke brothers.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Once in awhile an enormous talent comes along.
Kelly Jo Golden | Ponte Vedra Beach, FL | 05/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once in awhile an enormouse talent comes along to reminds you that a little hard work can go along way. Luke Wilson and his brothers made this move happen. Andrew co-directed- **and every shot** Bril Really. The story is imaginative and funny. Really One of a kind. I came on Amazon just and saw the last review and felt the NEED to come and say--What 1 star are you CRAZY? 5 stars. AND no I didn't give this a good review because of anyone in it. I give it the Kelly 5 star stamp because From the 1st shot of Wendell in bed from his window I knew this movie was one of a kind--and it really is. Please buy this movie you will not be sorry! Thanks for taking the time out to read this."
Low key but enteraining
JT | Texas | 11/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Actually 3 and a half. When I showed up at the video store check-out, the cashier told me it was the worst movie she'd ever seen. I thought about putting it back, then remembered that she also thought Wild Hogs was the funniest movie she'd watched all year. Basically, the movie is a good-natured film with some small laughs and a few big ones("I feel like a million pesos"). It's funny (but not as funny)in a Napoleon Dynamite sort of way, and the acting is good- especially the old men at the nursing home. There's several touching moments here, and some of the funniest. Luke Wilson plays a free spirited, can't quite settle down type who goes to jail, loses his girlfriend, and takes a job at a nursing home upon parole. You can tell it was low-budget, and the plot wanders, but if you like the Wilson brothers you should like this. In its own way it's better, more genuine than most Hollywood comedy hits. The soundtrack is excellent- a great collection of country and other songs. I'm definitely glad I didn't listen to the cashier."
Some funny moments but overall an opportunity missed
Bill | 11/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before this came out I wondered how a film featuring all three Wilson brothers could labor on the shelves so long. Now I know. The biggest problem is that Luke Wilson tried to write his own Dignan-type role, when that persona is perfectly suited for Owen. Luke tries hard, but it just never worked for me. I often wondered throughout the film how it would've fared if Owen played Wendell and Luke played Neil King. Of course Owen is still great as Neil King, the evil nurse, and he gives several great lines that Owen Wilson fans will quote for some time. The "goodnight" talk over the intercom is hysterical, as is his confrontation with Seymour Cassell in the men's room. The scenes with Owen and Will Ferrell are often very funny, and from the commentary track it sounds like most of their stuff was ad-libbed. They basically saved this film and made it watchable. The writing just isn't consistently strong. I wonder what Wes Anderson thought of this film. Hopefully it was a great learning experience for Luke and he'll create a better second film."
Not a barn-burner but sweet and witty
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 12/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
As played by Luke Wilson, Wendell Baker is the kind of character authors like to refer to as a "lovable rogue" - a smooth-talking scam artist with a tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe (to borrow a phrase from scripture, if I may be so bold). The trouble is that a good-hearted guy can run afoul of the law for only so long before he risks losing the woman he loves (Eva Mendes) and before he is finally forced into taking a long, hard look at his life. Thus, once he's paroled from prison, Wendell decides to go straight by taking a job at a retirement home (he's been duped into believing that this is a first step on the road to a career in hotel management) run by a sadistic administrator (Owen Wilson) and his toadying staff. There's a little of the feel of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," as the con man leads the put-upon inmates of the "asylum" in a well-coordinated rebellion against their oppressors.
The chief attraction of "The Wendell Baker Story" is the opportunity it affords us of seeing the Wilson brothers appearing together in the same movie - and what a treat it turns out to be. Luke has written a script filled with the kind of dry, wry wit that has been the hallmark of both of their performances over the years, and their scenes together crackle with understated cynicism and humor (Luke co-directed the feature with yet another brother, Andrew, making this a family affair in the fullest sense of the term). The movie is also blessed with an amazing team of supporting players, including Harry Dean Stanton and Seymour Cassel as spry oldsters who find a supportive helpmate in Wendell Baker; Kris Kristofferson as a mysterious, stoic resident who is harboring a carefully guarded secret about his past; Will Ferrell as the grocery store owner who is Wendell`s chief rival for his now ex-girlfriend`s affections; and Eddie Griffin who serves as chief henchman for the home`s scalawag of a director.
Their performances and the laidback tone of the humor compensate for the occasional dry spots and the fact that the movie itself doesn't really add up to all that much when all is said and done."