Fathers' Day (1997)
In this remake of the French comedy Les Comperes, superstar comedians Robin Williams and Billy Crystal team up as a pair of childless men who receive the shock of their lives when a mutual old flame resurfaces to inform them that one of them is the father of her missing 16-year-old son. The two paternal candidates are different as night and day, and at the story's beginning have never met. Jack Lawrence (Crystal) is a prominent L.A. lawyer. But for his tendency to deliver head-butts to adversaries, he is a highly responsible, rather button-down sort married to the lovely Carrie (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss). They have no children. Dale Putley (Williams), an aspiring writer/performance artist who never completely recovered from the '60s, is in a constant state of near suicide because he cannot get recognition for his work. He is also very flighty about driving and riding in airplanes. Distraught after her son Scott (Charlie Hofheimer) takes off with a strange woman, Collette Andrews (Nastassja Kinski, their mutual ex-lover, contacts Jack first. When he proves reluctant to drop everything and help her, she goes to Dale who immediately sets off to search for Scott. Jack too has a change of heart and joins the search. Both men are happy to learn that they are fathers and it isn't too far into the picture before they run into each other and decide to search together. Their polarity and the rivalry over Scott's paternity makes for much comic tension. Meanwhile, Scott, in a subplot, is working for a drug dealer. At the same time, Scott's step-dad is embarrassingly trapped in a portable toilet and is therefore unable to help out. Matters are complicated by a further subplot in which poor Carrie gets the mistaken impression that Jack is involved in a kinky relationship with another man and a young boy. Keep a sharp eye out for Mel Gibson in a sly tongue-in-cheek cameo. … More
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Critic Reviews for Fathers' Day
Father's Day has a few laugh-out-loud sequences, but it's nothing to celebrate.
For the comic actors, this project -- an enjoyable synthesis of improvisation and adherence to the original story -- seems almost too easy. You wonder why it took them so long.
Williams and Crystal often supply, through their ad libs, what the writers may have left out.
Despite some laughs, there's not much of a story. But at least Williams and Crystal, old pals off the screen, seem to be enjoying themselves.
Williams and Crystal find their own rhythm with the material and deliver some much needed laughs.
Fathers' Day scoots along pleasantly but never rises above its My Two Dads sitcom premise.
This had the potential to be hilarious, but instead falls alarmingly flat thanks to a weak and jokeless script that even the combined comedic talents of Williams and Crystal can't perk up.
Likable performances, but the story's brash and hyper, though sweet, delivery grows wearing, especially the sexual innuendo.
The plot is full of the kind of holes necessary to set up cream-puff moments where everybody turns huggy and learns Valuable Lessons. Ugh.
How much you enjoy the film will depend entirely on how much you enjoy the spectacle of Williams spewing forth streams of nonsensical gibberish in an attempt to impersonate a German record producer, and Crystal pitching snit fits.
Reitman, Williams and Crystal should have turned in a fine comedy. But Father's Day ain't it: they could have improvised a better film in their sleep.
Thankfully low on sentimentality, director Reitman gives the two stand-up talents a pretty free rein, resulting in some classic comic moments and snappy one-liners.
Audience Reviews for Fathers' Day
Dear Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, and Ivan Reitman:
Seriously! How could you mess this up so friggin badly!?
Disappointed and Angry
BAsed on a French product that I have no doubt is far better, this is the story of two men who, 17 years earlier, slept with the same woman. After all these years, her teenage son has gone missing, and she enlists the two men to help get him back. Why them? Well, one of them might be the father. She's not sure. The guy who has been the kid's father all these years may also be the father, but no one knows for sure.
So what we have here is what should be a madcap comedic romp as these men try to hunt for this kid who might be their illegitimate progeny.
What this actually is is a painfully unfunny, annoying, tedious, and awful f*cking mess. I think I may have legitimately been amused no more than like 3 times maximum, if that.
I don't understand it either. You'd think that Williams and Crystal would be a comedy dream team, but both men just deliver their typical respective shticks, offering nothing new, or, more importantly, funny.
This drags on and on with predictability out the wazoo, and I was happy when it finally ended. It's not charming, it's not interesting, and the only things keeping me from giving it a worse grade are the inclusion of Sugar Ray and a way too brief but amusing uncredited cameo from Mel Gibson. And maybe Williams's intro scene when he's on the phone. That's it. The rest of this just flat out sucks.
The whole set up could be neat, but comes off as pointless and contrived. The subplot with Greenwood is pointless and rather needlessly cruel for his character and, though she's pretty, Nastassja KInski is terrible here. I'm ashamed for her, and that's not something that happens to often for me, so yeah, that says something.
Bottom line: this is a pure waste of time, talent, money, and God knows what else. Not even out of curiousity do I think you should give this a look.
Not Robin Williams at his finest, although it was funny in some scenes. Not that well plotted out either.More
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