“Father Figures”

A Look at the Movies

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The first thing you’ll notice about the buddy comedy, “Father Figures” is that it’s not much of a comedy, and it’s not very funny.

Owen Wilson and Ed Helms are perfectly capable of carrying a comedy load, but only when they’ve got amusing material to work with. They crisscross the country in search of their long-lost father, permitting veteran actors like Christopher Walken a quick, cameo paycheck…

J.K. Simmons passes through, quickly bolstering the familiar “Father Figure” possibilities with no discernible impact on the picture. But what a pleasure seeing Glenn close in a rare screen appearance as their mom with memory problems about their dad’s identity.

The picture spins its wheels looking for laughs on the road from these overly cautious offspring. Terry Bradshaw stays on screen too much of the time as one of mom’s ardent suitors of long ago who just might be their father. Bradshaw quickly wears out his welcome, and frankly, so does this tiresome comedy.

Since the slapstick humor falls flat most if the time, in desperation, the writers turn up the hearts and flowers until the tail end of the picture is awash in sentimental goo. By the final fade out, you’d swear you’re watching a tear jerker with an absolutely ludicrous ending.

Typically, a holiday dud like “Father Figures” builds up its cute gimmick until it’s got nowhere to go, and eventually falls apart with only 2 stars to its name.

Apparently being witty and clever doesn’t run in that family…

Rated R

1 hour 40 Minutes

Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close, Terry Bradshaw, J. K. Simmons