Forgiving the Franklins

"Good"

Forgiving the Franklins Review


The Franklins are your heavy-duty holy rollers. Grace before dinner. Church every Sunday. Deep concerns over having edible flowers on the cake for the church bake sale for fear of offending someone in the congregation.

A car accident changes all that when three of the four Franklins are shocked out of their chastity belts and into a personal sexual revolution. Mom (Teresa Willis) and Dad (Robertson Dean) engage in a wholesale carnal awakening (complete with ice cubes), and don't hesitate to share the details with the town. Brother Brian (Vince Pavia) has the audacity to admit he's gay. The folks are fine but the community is horrified. (He's shagging the coach, for Pete's sake!)

Left unchanged is sis Caroline (Aviva, who's not nearly a good enough actor to be using just the one name), who's horrified at what's happening and tries to go on with life as it used to be (despite having to use a cane; her injury was physical vs. her family's "mental" injuries), but things get worse every day. I won't spoil the ending, but I will say the title of the film comes into play in an unusual, and not entirely satisfying, way.

Jay Floyd's directorial debut is a scrappy affair that has a lot going for it, but which doesn't push the envelope as far as you'd expect. Though the full frontal nudity of the otherwise mom-next-door Willis and the discussions of sexual proclivities are worthy of John Waters, the rest of the film comes off as a little pat. Much of the movie feels a little like it's biding time before it gets to its big finish, and the first half-hour is a throwaway, spending way too much time on exposition before the car crash, lifeless to the point where I almost quit watching. Some of the acting in the film is workmanlike at best, with some really stilted delivery offered up.

Still, Forgiving the Franklins is ultimately enough fun to merit a mild recommendation. The jabs at organized religion and the conservative right are on target and deserved, and though the message may have been delivered before, it hasn't been put on film quite like this before. If ever there was a man destined to (eventually) take the reins of shock suburban cinema from the aforementioned Waters, Jay Floyd is it.



Forgiving the Franklins

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Wednesday 25th January 2006

Distributed by: Regent Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jay Floyd

Producer: Jay Floyd, Rob Houk

Contactmusic


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