If it wasn’t for Geena Davis playing Gloria Conway, and Harrison Gilbertson‘s memorable performance as Billy Conway, I would have hit STOP midway through it. They made me persevere. It started out in a comedic way of looking at accident and life, but it turned out to be more humanistic than I expected.
Buster Billy seems to carry the un-lucky charm around him. When he was two, his neighbour died of a BBQ fire in his own front yard, running towards Billy, who stood helpless with water sprinkler running in his yard. Then that evening, after a movie at the drive-in, a car accident killed his sister, and put his brother in coma. Gene Conway(Johnny Xenos), the one in coma, was a rascal and Gloria put the blame on him that he survives the accident. Since then, the family breaks up. The twin son, Larry Conway(Harry Cook) turns to alcohol to soothe his pain, and their father, Ray Conway (Joel Tobeck) moves out and on, and eventually meets another woman, Connie (Katrina Retallick).
Gene’s best friend, and accomplice before the car accident is Doug Post(Sebastian Gregory), Gloria hates him because of the stunts Gene and Doug had been pulling. So here we have a story about the guilt carried by young Billy with all the events that he thinks he may have been the causal link.
This film was another way (funnier) of looking at how a family dealt with a tragedy; hence, no different from a more sombre take in The Greatest(2009), just this one had fewer melodramas.
Gloria was an atypical mom, so expect the unexpected from her mouth in front of her kids. And that makes this film interesting.