The Thing About My Folks

( 2 )

Overview

A middle-aged man finds himself dealing with the divorce of his elderly parents as well as many years of emotional baggage in this poignant comedy drama. Ben Paul Reiser is a writer who is enjoying a quiet evening at home with his wife, Rachel Elizabeth Perkins, when they receive an unexpected visitor, Ben's father, Sam Peter Falk. As it happens, Sam has some surprising news -- his wife, Muriel Olympia Dukakis, has left him, leaving behind a note saying she wants some time alone. While Ben gets in touch with his ...
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Peter Falk, Paul Reiser, Elizabeth Perkins, Olympia Dukakis, Ann Dowd February 14, 2006 DVD Run time: 94 mins. Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1. Originally released: 2005. Language: ... English. Brand new, factory sealed region 1 with white security label. Ships USPS First Class with tracking from Oklahoma in 1 business day-6 days a week. Read more Show Less

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Overview

A middle-aged man finds himself dealing with the divorce of his elderly parents as well as many years of emotional baggage in this poignant comedy drama. Ben Paul Reiser is a writer who is enjoying a quiet evening at home with his wife, Rachel Elizabeth Perkins, when they receive an unexpected visitor, Ben's father, Sam Peter Falk. As it happens, Sam has some surprising news -- his wife, Muriel Olympia Dukakis, has left him, leaving behind a note saying she wants some time alone. While Ben gets in touch with his sisters, who immediately set out to track down Muriel, he is left to deal with Sam while he tries to figure out what has gone wrong. Eager to spend some time with his dad to talk things out, Ben invites Sam along for a trip upstate to look at some property he's interested in buying, and as the two men hit the road, they get a chance to get to know one another in a way Sam, a busy salesman, was unable to do when Ben was a boy. The Thing About My Folks was a pet project for Paul Reiser, who wrote the screenplay as well as playing the lead; he'd had the script in the works for 20 years, and always intended for Peter Falk to play the role of Sam.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Theatrical Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The pluralization in this movie's title is a little misleading. It could have been called The Thing About My Folk -- or maybe The Thing About My Falk -- since Peter Falk's father character has the majority of the screen time in this Paul Reiser vehicle, written and produced by the comedian. It's the right choice, as Reiser and Falk have a fun time playing off each other on the father-son road trip that comprises most of the running time. However, it does contribute to a sense of narrative imbalance, and the late introduction of Olympia Dukakis as the other "folk" sends the third act off in a direction that wasn't necessarily previewed by the first two. But it's hardly worth quibbling over a few structural miscues in what is otherwise a sweet and surprisingly substantive film. Reiser's chattiness as a performer comes across clearly in his writing, but it's not empty chattiness. In The Thing About My Folks, it's easy to see Reiser grappling with issues from his own family history during conversations that aren't afraid to psychoanalyze the small details. What's more, they come across as natural rather than stagy, due in large part to the seemingly effortless folksy professionalism of Falk, and some pretty decent chops from Reiser, who has spent much of his career on stage and in sitcoms. This is not to say that any ground is being broken. Stories about kvetching New Yorkers testing their family bonds are hardly new, especially for Reiser, who has essentially made this the focus of his body of work. But The Thing About My Folks is the type of film that allows there to be comfort in familiarity. The lessons on how to avoid relationship mistakes -- or compensate for them after the fact -- are also timeless.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2006
  • UPC: 794043101502
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Falk Sam Kleinman
Paul Reiser Ben Kleinman
Elizabeth Perkins Rachel Kleinman
Olympia Dukakis Muriel Kleinman
Ann Dowd Linda
Claire Beckman Hillary
Mimi Lieber Bonnie
MacKenzie Connolly Lilly Kleinman
Lydia Jordan Mia Kleinman
Bernie McInerney Mr. Harrison
Marshall Erwin Efron Tow Truck Driver
Kevin Cahoon Perky Waiter
Alison Fraser
Technical Credits
Raymond de Felitta Director
Sheila Amos Editor
Steven Argila Score Composer
Steve Gaub Associate Producer
Dan Gillham Cinematographer
Sheila Jaffe Casting
David Leonard Editor
Meg Morman Casting
Bobby Newmyer Producer
Kathryn Nixon Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Reiser Producer, Screenwriter
Jeffrey Silver Producer
Georgianne Walken Casting
Timothy Whidbee Production Designer
Jamie H. Zelermyer Co-producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Thing About My Folks
1. Opening Sequence [:09]
2. What's the Matter [5:43]
3. It's a Farmhouse [5:33]
4. There's Always a Reason [5:54]
5. Not the Way it Was [8:46]
6. In the Tow Truck [4:33]
7. Good Ford Smell [7:28]
8. Let's Go Fishing [3:42]
9. That's a Peach [6:36]
10. Start Going Out [5:19]
11. Clearing the Table [6:13]
12. I Remember Once... [5:13]
13. What a Waste [6:27]
14. If That's Camping [6:44]
15. That Letter [6:20]
16. End Credits [8:46]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Thing About My Folks
   Play Movie
   Set Up Options
      Audio Optimized for DVD No Re-Equalization Required: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
      Audio Optimized for DVD No Re-Equalization Required: Stereo Surround Sound
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Select a Scene
   Trailer
   Sneak Peeks
   DVD-ROM & Online Features
   New Line Home Entertainment Icon
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Family Life.

    What are each person's expectations of family life, and being a husband or wife? *Emotional. *Riveting. *Funny moments, great comedy. *Peter Falk was a riot as Sam Kleinman. *Language was deplorable, yet it is the expected vernacular of the times, today. *Crazy, outrageous, and wild are just a few adjectives for this movie. *Great script, storyline, and character development make this an entertaining DVD. *Believable acting by Paul Reiser, Olympia Dukakis, Elizabeth Perkins and the rest of the crew.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Apples and Oranges

    Paul Reiser steps away from the standup comedy spotlight to write a warmly humorous and gently tender story about family - what we see and what we don't see, what we expect and what surprises us. THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS doesn't set any new standards for film, but it is a fine little story well told that reminds us about the significant bonds that family represents. Sam Kleinman (Peter Falk) has been a workaholic, at times pushing his wife Muriel (Olympia Dukakis), his daughters (Mackenzie Connolly and Lydia Jordan), and his son Ben (Paul Reiser) into the background. One day Muriel leaves a note that after years of marriage she is leaving! Her daughters, along with Ben's wife Rachel (Elizabeth Perkins) immediately begin the search for her whereabouts, leaving the confused and hurt and disgruntle Sam to sort things out on a road trip with son Ben. The road trip becomes a time for the two men to learn who each other is and what they each mean to their status as father and son and as family members. Sam relaxes for the first time in his life and introduces the now workaholic Ben to the pleasures and fun of living. The trip comes to an end with a phone call about the whereabouts of Muriel and why she left and the regrouping of the wiser family draws the story's warm ending. All is not what it seemed: it's better and, well, different. Falk and Reiser play off each other like the pros they are, but in many ways the film belongs to the brief moments when Olympia Dukakis is on screen, reminding us that she is one of our strongest matriarchs on film. Well worth viewing. Grady Harp

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