×

In Memory Of My Father

The death of a has-been Hollywood producer ushers in a family gathering that goes maniacally off the rails in Christopher Jaymes' raucous if facile "In Memory of My Father." With Cinevegas' grand jury prize under its belt, group comedy will sort through fest invites and distrib offers for solid North American exposure.

With:
With: David Austin, Tom Carroll, Eric Michael Cole, Judy Greer, Pat Healy, Christopher Jaymes, Matt Keeslar, Christine Lakin, Monet Mazur, Todd Rulapaugh, Jeremy Sisto, Meadow Sisto, Nicholle Tom .

The death of a has-been Hollywood producer ushers in a family gathering that goes maniacally off the rails in Christopher Jaymes’ raucous if facile “In Memory of My Father.” Re-exploring for the umpteenth time a dysfunctional clan whose members are facing key life crises, pic eludes the trap of excessive familiarity with an acidic sense of humor and a superbly cast ensemble (most play characters with their actual first names), led by Jaymes and a knockout Jeremy Sisto. With Cinevegas’ grand jury prize under its belt, group comedy will sort through fest invites and distrib offers for solid North American exposure.

Black comic tone is bluntly established with the sight of Chris (Jaymes), youngest of three sons, and hyper pal Pat (Pat Healy) videotaping the last moments of Dad’s life in his Hollywood mansion bedroom (David Austin, whose perf gives new meaning to “still life”). Dad’s last wishes to Chris were to record on vid cam his passing and the aftermath, thus allowing pic to indulge in film-within-film conceit.

Fortunately, as more and more family and guests arrive for the quasi-wake, device gives way to an ensembler.

Dad’s current lover is a shopaholic named Judy (Judy Greer), whose tendency to talk to her beloved corpse is only the start of a long day which includes doing the nasty on the bedroom floor with Dad’s eldest, Matt (Matt Keeslar).

Middle son Jeremy (Sisto) has the strangest trip of all, as he finds himself gradually drawn into a vaguely homoerotic bond with motor mouth Eric (Cole), here as the date of Meadow (Meadow Sisto), who — due to familial marriages and re-marriages — is both cousin and stepsister to the three brothers.

Jaymes’ script cleverly suggests that a pattern of jumping between partners was set in the previous generation, not only by Dad with his absurdly young amour but with Uncle Aled (Tom Carroll), who’s both uncle to the sons and also their late mom’s second husband and father to Meadow.

A gnarlier family tree is hard to imagine, and though some viewers will never sort it all out, the escapades and encounters are so cannily observed and played that a mood of confusion actually contributes to the frothy, emotionally dangerous mix.

Pic will be seen as the lighter side of “The Celebration,” both in terms of its ad-hoc and nervy approach to characters (viewed, as in that pic, in frequent neck-up shots and in close quarters) and in its view of the stained legacy of a powerful patriarch.

The extended, drug-fueled duo between Sisto and Cole is quite magical, while Greer is allowed to exercise her best comic instincts (especially in tandem with the deadpan Keeslar). Group of thesps obviously enjoys every moment, while hardly lessening the negative effect of an excessively talky script. Abe Levy’s widescreen vid lensing ably keeps up with the ever-active actors, and Daniel Teper’s keyboard score is a fine accompaniment.

In Memory Of My Father

Production: A Persona Film Co., Interspot Film production. Produced by Christopher Jaymes. Executive producers, David Austin, Niki Klingohr. Co-producers, Eric Michael Cole, Amy Jo Johnson. Directed, written by Christopher Jaymes.

Crew: Camera (Listo color, widescreen, DV/35mm/Super-8), Abe Levy; editors, Jaymes, Eric Michael Cole; music, Daniel Teper; songs, Belle & Sebastian; music supervisors, Charles McCollough, Angela Leus, Justin Goldberg; sound, Walt Martin; sound designer, Tom Ozanich; associate producers, Matt Keeslar, Laura Valdivia; assistant director, Michael Traina. Reviewed at Cinevegas Film Festival, Las Vegas, June 13, 2005. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: David Austin, Tom Carroll, Eric Michael Cole, Judy Greer, Pat Healy, Christopher Jaymes, Matt Keeslar, Christine Lakin, Monet Mazur, Todd Rulapaugh, Jeremy Sisto, Meadow Sisto, Nicholle Tom .

More Film

  • Writers Guild Posts Scathing Video Attack

    Writers Guild Posts Scathing Video Attack on Agency Packaging

    The Writers Guild of America, which is threatening to require members to fire their agents, has posted a scathing video attacking how major agencies conduct packaging. Titled “Agency Conflicts of Interest,” the video explains that compensation for writers has declined by 23% between 2014 and 2016 and blames the agencies for taking packaging fees on [...]

  • CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist

    CAA Owner TPG Buying Payroll Specialist Entertainment Partners

    TPG Capital, the massive private equity firm that owns Creative Artists Agency, is buying payroll specialist Entertainment Partners for an undisclosed price. Entertainment Partners’ management team, led by president and CEO Mark Goldstein, will continue in their roles. The agreement was announced Tuesday with plans to close the deal during the second quarter. “We’re thrilled [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Threatening to Throw 'Industry Into Chaos'

    UPDATE – The dealmakers appear to be getting nowhere. Negotiators for Hollywood agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved little progress at their seventh session on Tuesday, with a chaotic scenario looming on April 7. “When Guild leadership is ready to move on from their declared threatening phase, we stand ready to work [...]

  • Zoe Lister-Jones The Craft

    'The Craft' Remake Finds Director in Zoe-Lister Jones

    “Life in Pieces” star Zoe Lister-Jones will write and direct Sony Pictures’ remake of “The Craft” for Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment. Doug Wick, the producer of the original “The Craft,” will return in the same capacity along with partner Lucy Fisher through their Red Wagon banner. Jason Blum is also producing and his Blumhouse [...]

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett's Mother-Daughter Story 'Carrie and Me' in Development as a Movie

    Carol Burnett’s bestseller “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story” is in the works as a movie at Focus Features with Burnett, Tina Fey, Eric Gurian, and Steven Rogers producing. Burnett will produce through her Mabel Cat Productions with Fey and Gurian under their production banner Little Stranger along with Rogers (“I, Tonya”). The sibling [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content