Not every day at work is a good one. Sometimes we just coast throught our days. Same can be said for those in the arts. In the film world this type of film often becomes a straight to video deal. There are some exceptions where films that don’t make it to theatres end up being highly watchable. For the most part it is a case of you get what you paid for. This happens despite the fact that there is talent in front of the camera. With Boundaries, directed and written by Shana Feste (Endless Love, Country Strong), even though talent like Vera Farmiga, Christopher Lloyd, Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, and Christopher Plummer make up the cast it is a film that really misses the target.
Single mother and amateur dog rescuer Laura (Vera Farmiga – from television’s Bates Motel) seems to live her life putting the dogs before herself, her string of boyfriends and even her son, Henry (Lewis MacDougall – A Monster Calls, Pan). Though she loves him, Henry, a smart teen who always seems to be in trouble at school, seems to suffer from a lack of parental guidance. While Laura is dealing with another time he gets in trouble at school, she also has her father Jack (Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) come back into her life.
Father and daughter are pretty distant as he is less a father than he is a criminal. He now needs to come crawling back to his daughter when he gets kicked out of his retiremennt home finding himself with no where to live. That is inconvenient for him as he is in the midst of another shady scheme. Laura and Jack kinda agree that he is going to live with his other daughter, Jojo (Kristen Schaal – from television’s Bob’s Burgers), and that Laura will drive him there. Henry and few dogs come along for the ride.
Unbeknownst to Laura, Jack has convinced Henry to help him sell off some marijuana. This happens under Laura’s nose pretty much every stop they make on the way to the west coast. Along the way they meet up with old friends of Jack’s and even some family. One stop is to see Henry’s father, Leonard (Bobby Cannavale – Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ferdinand), who both Laura and Henry realize is better out of their lives. Another is an old friend of Jack’s, Joey (Peter Fonda – Easy Rider, Ghost Rider).
A different take on the road movie genre. This time it is an odd trio of father/daughter/and her son. All have issues to keep things from getting boring. Mix of comedy and drama. Despite all the rich family drama territory that could be mined here what is used lacks imagination ending up being fairly predictable. Nothing out of the ordinary happens. Daughter seeking absentee father’s approval is not exactly groundbreaking.
The three main actors all turn in good efforts. Do what they can with the odd material they have been given. All seem to be having fun. Christopher Plummer still has some great screen presence. Despite his advancing age it has not gone away; he still knows how to command attention.
-Setting Boundaries: A Look Behind the Scenes
-Previews of The Seagull, Puzzle, The Wife, The Leisure Seeker, Searching, Sicario: Day of the Soldado