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Labor Day

Movie Details

Labor Day
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 2013-12-27 Academy Run
  • Running Time: 111 min.
  • Director: Jason Reitman
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tom Lipinski, Clark Gregg, Alexie Gilmore, Lucas Hedges, Brighid Fleming, James Van Der Beek, Maika Monroe
  • Writer: Jason Reitman
  • Distributor: Paramount Pictures
  • Official Site: Labor Day Official Site

Quick, somebody check Jason Reitman's house to see if the real man has been turned into dust by a body snatcher. Though his name's on the poster, it's impossible to believe that the sardonic boy wonder of Juno, Thank You for Smoking, and Young Adult would direct this stilted romance between a divorcée and a dreamboat escaped convict. The plot of Labor Day would make a great Upworthy article: "I Never Thought I'd Want My Mom to Love a Murderer Until I Met This Bloody Hunk." After dad (Clark Gregg) ditches the family for his secretary, 13-year-old Henry (Gattlin Griffin) and mom Adele (Kate Winslet) retreat from the world. Adele is one hand-tremor away from a nervous breakdown; the boy is a shy, soulful nerd forced to parent himself and fill his father's shoes. Too sheltered to distinguish between adorable and inappropriate, for her birthday he presents mom with a homemade coupon book titled "Husband for a day." Gut-wounded prison escapee Frank Chambers (Josh Brolin) takes one glance at frail Adele and grunts, "She looks like the kind of person who can help me." He means hide him from the police. But something in this fugitive's eyes says he's the kind of guy who deserves a good massage. Frank strongly encourages Adele to take him home, where the handsome quasi-kidnapper promptly decides to change the oil, wax the floors, grout the cellar, quiet a whiny door, bake fabulous homemade biscuits, and teach Henry to play catch. It's disheartening to watch Winslet and Brolin give their all to parts that could have been filled by anyone on the Hallmark Channel.

Amy Nicholson

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