Young actor Adrien Grenier (seen most recently in James Toback’s “Harvard Man”) has turned his own real-life quest to become reacquainted with his estranged father into a rambling, often shapeless — but just as often touching and illuminating — feature-length docu. A personal musing on the need for fathers on both an individual and societal scale, this modified home movie meanders off into so many different directions it never develops a clear focus. But like a literary first draft, the idea shows promise — Grenier is definitely on to something — though structural work is in order before pic will be suited for any kind of distribution.
Grenier begins with a simple impetus that morphs, helter-skelter, into a larger questioning of cultural perceptions of paternal characteristics and responsibilities. What makes a father? Can a mother successfully fill in? After Grenier tracks down his own father, pic evolves into a critical treatise on the residual effects of the free-spirited lifestyles embodied by both of Grenier’s parents. It’s never less than interesting, but always less than well-organized.