Adult siblings Sammy Prescott and Terry Prescott have had a special bond with each other since they were kids when their parents were tragically killed in a car accident. That bond is why single mom Sammy, who still lives in the family home in Scottsville, upstate New York with her eight year old son Rudy, is excited to hear that Terry, who she has not seen or heard from in a while, is coming home for a visit. That excitement is dampened slightly upon Terry's arrival, when she learns that he, broke, is only there to borrow money. As adults, Sammy, who works as a lending officer in the local bank, is seen as the responsible sibling, while unfocused Terry is seen as the irresponsible drifter. Regardless, Sammy welcomes what ends up being Terry's longer than planned visit if only so that he can help take care of Rudy, who has no adult male figure in his life. Rudy has never known his deadbeat biological father, with whom Sammy wants nothing to do. As Terry - acting as the supposed adult ... Written by
A quick glimpse at others' comments here confirms what I suspected when I finally caught this flick on video myself -- it is something of a Rorschach test for viewers. I notice that there are people who absolutely identify with Laura Linney's character, Sammy, and others who completely see the film from the point of view of Mark Ruffalo's character, Terry. I think this is a sign of a good film. I myself was prepared to dislike Terry because he seemed such an obvious mess, but the film allows him his own point of view that you come to respect. And I am not a religious person at all -- in fact, I have major issues with organized religion -- but I was impressed with the even-handed, sympathetic treatment of religion here, and also of small-town life -- both very rare in American movies. The cast is uniformly good -- in addition to everybody mentioned in others' comments here, I'd single out Jon Tenney as Sammy's well-meaning, on-again off-again boyfriend -- but Linney was simply phenomenal. See this, if only to see how *you* react to it.
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