Fathers’ Day (1997) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Father’s Day is a fairly abysmal comedy starring two of the previous decades’ highest regarded comedians. It’s arguably Director Ivan Reitman’s worst, although Junior will always hold that place for me, and it features way too much of Mark McGrath and Sugar Ray. This ‘High-Concept’ comedy was based on a very successful French film, Les Compères,but something surely got lost in translation. Producer Joel Silver, who has no previous experience with comedies, is the man responsible for pooling all the on-screen talent in an unsuccessful attempt at re-creating the magic all have shown in better films.

This dimly plotted film is about two very different men, lawyer Jack Lawrence (Billy Crystal) and Berkeley Playwright Dale Putley (Robin Williams) who each receive a call from an ex-girlfriend (Nastassja Kinski) claiming that he is the father of a 17-year-old boy. The kid has recently runaway with his girlfriend, and the mother figures she can use the help of both men in tracking down their potential son. The gag?–Neither man knows who the true identity of the father is. Hilarious.

Billy Crystal and Robin Williams have let down their fans with this utterly unfunny, occasionally obnoxious, and often confounding mess. The presence of so-many ‘stars’, including Mel Gibson in a bizarre cameo, does nothing to add any magic to the formula. The inept storyline and a truly unlikable character in the missing son, make you wonder how this movie got through the studio system and exists today in its current incarnation.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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