I had high hopes for Welcome to the Riley’s and although it had some good moments, sadly it like Sundance, has left me a bit cold. It had an interesting idea with the tone, the dialogue, the camera work, but the overall feel of it at times barely made the cut. There was nothing stellar about the film that made it stand out from the rest, yet at the same time there were no real problems that I could fault it for aside from its mediocrity.
The story centers on the Riley family who lost their daughter in a car accident a number of years before the movie starts. Their lives have been ruined and they’re both unhappy with their situation. While the agoraphobic mother hides in the house, the father goes on a business trip and finds a young woman at a strip club who reminds him of his daughter. Instead of going home, he decides to stay with her and try to help her and in doing so help himself.
The performances were solid for the most part except that James Gandolfini seemed to be struggling with a southern accent, which was particularly noticeable seeing as his character was supposed to be from Indiana. Kristen Stewart gave a solid dramatic performance (yet again) playing a miserable young women who was lost without help. She does push herself and reveal quite a bit more (in the biblical sense) than we’ve seen in the past. I can’t help but feel like she’s been typecast and would love to see what she could do with a different type of role
- The Beginning: Starts off with a bang, interesting characters and a good start.
- The Characters: All have a lot of depth and continue to unfold throughout the movie.
- The Accents: Who is from where now? Can everyone get on the same page?
- The Dramatic Dialogue: We get that when parents lose their children, they’re upset and the actors portrayed that, but we didn’t need so much dialogue about it.
- The Tone: A little too serious, it could have used a couple of laughs.