Friday, January 16, 2015

Movie Review: $5 a Day (2008)

$5 a Day (2008) - USA - Comedy Drama - Rated PG-13
Directed by Nigel Cole
Starring Christopher Walken, Alessandro Nivola, Sharon Stone, Dean Cain, Peter Coyote, Amanda Peet, Luis Avalos

A light and tender comedy about an estranged con artist father and son connecting that also successfully connects with the viewer.

Flynn works as a health inspector in Los Angeles when he is contacted by his father who he has not seen in years, and does not want to see so he refuses his father's request to see him. So his father ends up getting him fired from his job due to an undisclosed criminal record, which he got as a result of his father, and his relationship with his girlfriend breaks up. Reluctantly he goes to see his father in Atlantic city where he still lives like a conman finding ways to live a comfortable life paying little or nothing. His father tells him he has cancer and this sets them off on a road trip in a promotional car with advertising all over it, getting free birthday dinners at restaurants due to a collection of fake IDs his father has, and staying the night in demos and open houses they find via real estate listings. His father is still a conman, and this makes Flynn wonder if he is trying to con his way into his heart while the two try to reconnect with the past and present together.

$5 a Day is part comedy, part drama and part road movie, and all a different kind of movie. Christopher Walken is naturally great in a role again, this time playing a meddlesome father who seems to be so caught up in his conning and scheming that it may well be the only way he knows how to show love too. Alessandro Nivola as his son strikes the right cord of being annoyed, pissed off, and yet has a begrudging love for a man he is never sure is conning him or not.

This movie provides laughs and tears. The ending, without giving anything away, is so appropriate for how we have come to know these two men and will leave you wiping a tear while having a good laugh at the same time. Walken may be pulling cons in the movie but the movie is no con job, but the genuine article.

My Rating: 4 Fingers.

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