Pic represents a promising feature directorial debut for TV producer Gary David Goldberg. There’s certainly much that’s funny, warm and endearing about Dad, which, based on William Wharton’s novel, deals with the familiar theme of a grown child resolving his sense of duty toward an ageing parent.
Unfortunately, prolonged tilling of that emotional terrain and seemingly endless verbalization of feelings diminish most of what’s good about the film.
Ted Danson has the pivotal role of Jack Lemmon’s somewhat estranged son, who returns from his sheltered world of Wall Street opulence to find his parents failing and infirm. Danson moves in with his parents to ease their final days, in the process finding new meaning in his relationship with his own college-age son (Ethan Hawke).
There’s some repartee nicely delivered by the principals, including Kathy Baker and Kevin Spacey as Danson’s sister and brother-in-law.
1989: Nomination: Best Makeup