$5 a Day
$5 a Day
certainly does not
have the world’s most original storyline – an unhappy adult loser has to
reconnect with his estranged, dying con man father on one last big road
trip. In fact the star of the film, Christopher Walken, played essentially
the same role in the very similarly plotted and sadly mostly forgotten 2005
comedy/drama Around the Bend.
However, even if it does follow a bit of an indie film formula, $5 a
Day is written in a quirky and charming enough manner that you mostly
overlook the fact that you’ve seen it all before.
Alessandro Nivola – a natural and likable actor who never quite gets the
breakthrough role that has been predicted for him for over a decade since he
broke into films with Face/Off and Mansfield Park – plays
Flynn, a three-time loser who in one day loses his job, has his girlfriend
move out on him and receives a plane ticket from his estranged dad to fly
cross country to Atlantic City to meet up with him because the old man has a
malignant tumor in his brain.
so he says. Flynn has a hard time believing Nat (Walken), because he is a
small-time grifter who has lied to his son many times over the years –
eventually even letting the son do eleven months in jail to cover up for his
course, Nat’s crimes have always been very much on the petty side. For
example, Nat has fake driver’s licenses with birthdates for every day of the
year so that he can get a free meal at IHOP. (There are a whole lot of
product placements in this film.) Other scams that Nat is running is
getting free usage of a Sweet & Low mobile as long he drives the mobile
advertisement 1,000 miles a month, regularly crashing corporate functions
for food and drink and staying overnight at empty homes for sale.
However when Flynn shows up at Nat’s apartment – a cool little dive under
Steel Pier in Atlantic City of all places – Nat insists that he is dying and
begs the son to drive him across country to try an alternative therapy, for
free, of course.
takes Flynn on an extremely round-about tour of their past (and local IHOPs,
so they can always eat for free). As father and son spend time together,
even though they annoy each other at first, eventually they somewhat bond,
while crossing paths with Flynn’s first crush, his babysitter (a
haggard-looking Sharon Stone) and a former partner of Nat’s who stole away
story is meandering and sometimes just a little too coincidental for its own
good, but the script is mostly smartly written and funny enough that the
film overcomes its own limitations. Much like Nat, the movie is more
charming and entertaining than it really has any business being – but you
don’t really buy what it is saying for even a
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: August 24, 2010.