Dealing with Idiots

December 24, 2013

Max, a famous comedian, is stunned to see the behavior of the parents of the teammates of his son’s baseball team. It stuns him so much he receives creative inspiration to make a film satirizing them. He begins then to interview each parent to learn how they tick, and ultimately to make an attempt to connect their mad antics with their personal lives.


By entering into each parent’s personal space – keeping the kids out of it – he discovers idiosyncracies with each. One reads Soldier of Fortune behind his wife’s back. Another has a poetry club with bikini-clad girls. Not that each of these examples purports to show a reason the parents are so invested in what hypothetically should be for the children a fun way to learn about collaboration and working toward self-fulfillment and achieving a goal. And that’s probably the most disappointing aspect of the film. We never get to honestly see why the parent’s behave the way they do. Their personal lives in other words don’t justify their obsessiveness which veers toward ridiculousness.


Perhaps their pseudo-religious expressions at the old ball game signify to Mr. Garlin, the star, the writer and the director of the film, a release, an escape, from their everyday mediocrity? Perhaps the chanting, once done in a cathedral, is a spiritual aching now channeled through encouraging 45 mile per hour fastballs? Maybe Mr. Garlin is documenting the Last Man in his own personal way, and that the demonstration of the insignificant lives the parents hold is indeed the proof and explanation for the direction – or misdirection – of their passions towards children’s baseball, versus towards something more metaphysical.


This would be convincing. This would reveal that the main characters in the film are crying for help, as Max does, not towards anything divine like God or an angel, but towards a fantastical image of his father. The bar has been lowered.


Grade: B



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