Reuniting the Rubins

"Bad"

Reuniting the Rubins Review


A contrived script and clunky direction undermine this British film, which veers from silly comedy to harsh drama to dark tragedy. And this family is far too harshly dysfunctional for us to accept the filmmakers' attempts at sentimentality.

When his mother (Blackman) purchases the old family home, Lenny (Spall) must cancel his retirement cruise and reunite his four estranged children for a Jewish holiday celebration. But gathering the ruthless capitalist (Callis), eco-warrior (Mitra), ultra-orthodox rabbi (O'Connor) and Buddhist monk (Newman) in the same place will require a miracle. Sure enough, it's a disaster, and Lenny's only hope is that he can stop the war long enough to have dinner together.

Writer-director Factor gained enough experience making commercials to give the film a bright, sunny look, but scenes are written and directed without much style or grace. He encourages overplaying from his cast, which makes the dialog feel corny and amateurish. And he packs in the cliches while ignoring any sense of logic. For example, one morning Lenny takes a trip to deepest, darkest Congo to search for his daughter, and he seems to get home in time for supper.

Even more insulting is the way each character emotionally blackmails their family members. Lenny's mother brandishes her concentration camp tattoo to manipulate Lenny into doing her bidding. And Lenny plays the dead wife card at one point. Stir in a corporate conspiracy, more than one heart attack, a birth and a death, and we realise that the filmmakers are doing the same thing with us, trying to force us to feel emotions that they can't be bothered to develop organically in a coherent screenplay.

This is a family of tetchy, mistrusting, backstabbing people, and we wouldn't want to spend any time with one of them, let alone all gathered together in one room. Spall brings a level of dignity to his role, of course, that at least makes him sympathetic, and Newman has an enjoyable spark of wit and real emotion in his mostly silent role. But the film simply isn't funny enough to be enjoyable or dramatic enough to be cathartic. It's clearly a labour of love, but perhaps an outside eye would have brought things into better focus.



Reuniting the Rubins

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st October 2011

Box Office USA: $13.3k

Distributed by: Monterey Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Yoav Factor

Producer: Yoav Factor, Jonathan Weissler

Starring: as Andie Rubin, as Lennie Rubin, as Danny Rubin, as Nick

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.