Parents isn't an awful movie by any stretch. It's actually a pretty well made movie if I look at it from just that standpoint. If I look at it from the entertainment and enjoyment aspects of it, it didn't quite hold up. I didn't hate it, but it certainly didn't win me over in the end. It had a fairly interesting concept that kept the film going, but the way the events unfold is obvious, and the end result is less than satisfying. I can say that it was a good try because this could have been terrible, but it wasn't.
Parents centers around a family living in the suburbs during the 1950's. The story is presented in the way Fido would be. It's a dark comedy, horror movie mix. There's a ten year old boy at the center of the film who is starting to question his parents. There's obviously something off with them and he begins to get bigger and bigger evidence to this effect. He also won't eat his meat, which disappoints his parents because they are huge meat lovers. I was constantly waiting for a Pink Floyd reference about eating your meat, but unfortunately none came.
I will say that the direction by Bob Balaban makes this movie more watchable then I thought it could be. He does a good job balancing the social satire with the creepiness. Also the cast is rather interesting as well. Randy Quaid gives the best performance I've ever seen from him, and I also really enjoyed Mary Beth Hurt's performance as the loving mother as well.
In the end though, all this movie does is present its story in an interesting way. By the end, I was less then enamored with it. Sure it has some good stuff going on, but films like these need a little more to push them over the top and that little bit more was missing here. Plus when you label yourself as a Dark Comedy, then you have to deliver some laughs, and Parents just doesn't. The darkness was certainly there, but the comedy was no where to be seen. It also is labeled as a horror film. Well, it wasn't scary either. So it failed in both respects. Still I can't say not to watch the movie, because I didn't hate it all and I could see people easily being able to enjoy this one.
Its an odd one for sure, Randy Quaid is perfect as 'Dad' with that eerie joker-ish smile of his, Mary Beth Hurt accompanies Quaid well as 'Mum' to make a great kooky couple. The various scenes of eating dinner with close ups of the meat really does make you uncomfortable and your mind swings from judgement to judgement on wether little 'Michael Laemle's' parnets really are serving up human flesh for tea hehe.
Personally I could never really make up my mind if the whole thing was a dream or just a little boys crazy imagination, the film plays out quite surreal which keeps you guessing. Being set in the 50's really adds that kind of bizarre yet fun twist to it, almost impossible to think such things could happen in a perfect all American home in the happy 50's. The cute sitcom like soundtrack adds zing, makes the whole thing out to be almost silly, light hearted or even a kids film, truth be told the film gets darker and darker as it goes on yet your never really scared, more intrigued and curious.
A real cult oddity which works due to the brilliant performances of all the cast members.
Fun stuff, definitely worth a rental.
Directed by Bob Balaban, Parents features very good acting performances from the following cast:
1.) Randy Quaid (Nick Laemle)
2.) Mary Beth Hurt (Lily Laemle)
3.) Sandy Dennis (Millie Dew)
4.) Bryan Madorsky (Michael Laemle)
5.) Juno Mills-Cockell (Shelia Zeliner)
6.) Kathryn Grody (Miss Baxter)
When I saw Parents, I find it as a horror movie with its sick humor that would end up on my dinner plate. Surely many TV and the movies portray the perfect all-American suburban family set in the innocently-looking late '50s/early '60s background, the film does show them but parodies in a terror twist. Sometimes I enjoy seeing a mystery where Michael asks what he's having for dinner and his folks tell him of leftovers (and more leftovers) while they eat quietly in the table. And then some good but grotesque bloody scenes ensue. Thank goodness my Parents aren't like that.
The introductory music is terrible...screechy and obnoxious. Sorry, I just had to say that...it really bugged me lol. I actually really dislike this movie. Way too grotesque subject matter...and just boring & retarded. I think I may just not have appreciation for the genre.
The concept of square nerdy parents chowin down on human meat is funny,