Happy Tears

Sisters Jayne and Laura go back to their parents’ house to help their septuagenarian father. Their return home also forces the two dutiful sisters to come to terms with their dull childhood and their far from perfect family life. Laura is convinced that their father now needs full-time care, but Jayne doesn’t think things are that bad yet. Jayne’s talent for avoiding reality increases Laura’s desire to make her sister face facts. Their father Joe is unimpressed by his daughters’ fussing. He is quite content to carry on playing the blues on his beloved guitar. This merry widower even has a lover – the shameless and cheeky Shelly.
As Joe’s growing senility becomes more blatant it threatens to throw off kilter all interpersonal relationships within the family. The sisters also have their hands full with their own very different life partners and before long, subliminal tensions begin to come to the fore. Laura’s packed timetable as a committed environmentalist with three young children, and Jayne’s daily routine as the childless wife of a workaholic art dealer harbour a zillion trouble spots. Their adventures at their parents’ home are not without their own magic, but they also cause lasting damage. But in the end, the tears shed by Jayne and Laura also include a few happy ones.
by Mitchell Lichtenstein
with Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Rip Torn, Ellen Barkin
USA 2009 95’

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