The Morning After: Sep. 8, 2014

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

You Can Count on Me

Kenneth Lonergan’s family drama about a sister (Laura Linney) and brother (Mark Ruffalo) who come together years after their parents’ deaths and discover that their love for one another can still be tested by the stunted development they received in the intervening years.

With two stellar central performances, Lonergan explores parenthood, fidelity and dissatisfaction in a compelling, though lengthy narrative. Linney plays Sammy, a loan officer at a local bank whose new boss (Matthew Broderick) begins as a colossal prick insisting that she can no longer pick her son up by dodging out of work for 15 minutes. Ruffalo plays her brother Terry who has spent time traveling the country but has run out of money and has decided to surprise his sister with a visit to ask for money to take care of himself and the woman who he’s impregnated. Unable to display actual affection, Terry ends up staying a time with Sammy and looking after her sheltered son Rudy (Rory Culkin). Sammy begins having an affair with a married man while the romantic relationship she has with Bob (Jon Tenney) begins to deteriorate.

The parents’ death leads two children to develop poorly into adults. Terry doesn’t know how to take responsibility for himself, acting frequently like a spoiled child while Sammy has taken an authoritarian and hypocritical demeanor to those around her. While Terry has refused to grow up, Sammy has grown up too much and by re-entering each others’ lives, they begin the process of sharing and replacing what made the other fractured. The performances alone make this film an early 00’s must see, but the drama is consistently droll and frequently insightful.

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