If there is no movie jumping out at me, I admit I'll take a sneak peak at either moviefone.com metrics or the audience/critics percentages on rottentomatoes.com
The film "The Hollars" I knew nothing about and the moviefone metrics were a pedestrian 53%. But it fit the time slot and so I went with low expectations. I knew 2 of the stars were B-listers (but huge acting talents) Margo Martindale and Richard Jenkins (I'm big, long time fans of them both).
So I start watching this movie unfold. I'm liking the characters, I'm liking the script and I'm waiting for the "other shoe to drop". As I get further and further into this likable movie and waiting for the bottom fall out, I notice I'm smiling more and more and happy tears are living in the corner of my eyes.
Folks, if you have goodness in your heart, you want to cheer for the underdog, you enjoy good obscure music that perfectly compliments the film and believe in the magic of truly caring and loving parents that understand life is a journey, run to see "The Hollars".
I really think I saw the movie of the year, magical, BLOODY MAGICAL. I promise.
Simple story of lower middle class, somewhat of a dysfunctional family comes together when Mom (Martingale turns ill). I can't explain how many good laughs, warm smiles and genuine happy tears starts to follow.
What is fascinating too is that some of the characters are really quite unlikable in the beginning. As the film progresses, you really come to tuck away their negatives and embrace their positives - I know this sounds corny, but this film was a quintessential home run.
The role of Mom by Martingale is off the charts warm, loving and REAL. She sees the good in all, stealthy puts together deals/situations that bring out the best in her family. Later, we see that her two vastly different sons now possess the same priceless gift. And her blind love for her kind, gentle husband (Jenkins) and clearly her best friend of sorts is near dreamy. He calls her chief and has the greatest respect and love for her. His pooh-poohing of her symptoms and sending her to Jenny Craig to remedy was hugely jaw dropping….then she laughs about it and the theatre erupts.
Folks, there is a singing scene which is off the charts life changing for the lead characters (brilliant choice by the writers) and a shaving scene that is a most heartfelt, poignant special movie scene that will stay with me maybe for the rest of my life.
This film is only playing locally at Red Bank Clearview Theatre and in its 2nd week of its run (and it could be short) - I beg you to go if family warmth and love is in your heart - I know it sounds corny but it is everything. Lousy weather weekend…perfect movie going weekend.
I am astonished at some of the low ratings and maybe my "glow" about this movie is due to my advancing age "56" vs. maybe Millennials who possibly might be influenced the rating.
After writing my above review, I visited the web site of local movie reviewer guru Joan Ellis. I am busting with excitement that she saw/felt the same magic as me.