"LABOR DAY" from Paramount opened Dec. 27, 2013 and expands wide Fri., Jan. 31, 2014.
STARRING: James Brolin, Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek and Brooke Smith.
DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman ("Thank You for Smoking", "Up In the Air", "Juno", "Young Adult").
SYNOPSIS: Depressed single mom Adele (Winslet) and her son Henry (Griffith) offer a wounded fearsome man (Brolin) a ride. As police search for the escaped convict, mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.
That synopsis is not entirely accurate. Adele (Winslet) offers the fearsome man a ride after he makes threatening motions toward the boy. Her forced generosity leads them to her home where they all learn about each other. The one thing Brolin's character learns too late about young Henry is that he's easily manipulated by strong women which, in this case, would be every woman on the face of the planet. Reitman's choice of plot devices make it plain he may have woman issues as well.
Either way, it's not your typical boy-meets-girl story leading to a happily ever-after but it's a unique twist on that theme. Ultimately, it's a love story which scores very low scores for this author. Those who believe in love might like it, those who believe in reality likely won't see it.
ALSO OPENING Fri., Jan. 31, 2014: "THAT AWKWARD MOMENT" from FilmDistrict. STARRING: Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan (No, not THAT Michael Jordan-the other one).
This is a sort of a coming-of-age film where three idiots make a lot of crude jokes about the women they date, do stupid things and get lucky with some airheads who demonstrate little sense or taste. This kind of film can be good but not with these three idiots. There are too many questions related to whether or not they're acting--or really that stupid.