Father of Invention

(2010)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Review: Father of Invention

Transcript for Review: Father of Invention

What happens when the director of LARRY THE CABLE GUY: HEALTH INSPECTOR and the producer of BATTLEFIELD EARTH team up to make a feel-good movie starring Kevin Spacey as a disgraced infomercial personality? The answer to that long-burning question is our next film, the deeply eccentric - and deeply wrongheaded - FATHER OF INVENTION.

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Spacey wears a variety of fake mustaches and hairpieces—none of them convincing—as Robert Axle, a former billionaire inventor trying to reconnect with his daughter after spending eight years in prison.

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Though it’s got a few good ideas going for it, FATHER OF INVENTION doesn’t seem to know what kind of movie it wants to be. Spacey’s character invents all kind of contraptions that combine unrelated objects. Similarly, FATHER OF INVENTION is a movie that combines two unrelated genres: satire and schmaltz. Neither ends up working.  This is a pretty big thumbs down for me.

CHRISTY:  Yeah, me, too and the big problem is that you have Kevin Spacey in this very snarky, smarmy role, which only calls to mind how much better he has been in that same kind of snarky, smarmy role when it’s well written.  If you look at something lime American Beauty, you know,it just, he can do this very very well, and the writing is just not there.

CHRISTY:  This movie is an absolute mess. 

CHRISTY:  It’s at odds with itself.

IGNATIY:  It’s a train wreck essentially. I mean, you know, it’s like these tear jerking moments and then people get kicked in the groin.  Um and there are these kind of undercurrents also that, um…uh…that only make it worse.  There’s a certain homophobia to this film…

CHRISTY:

The whole thing with the Heather Graham characther

IGNATIY: That treats Heather Graham’s lesbian characther..

CHRISTY: Why is she gay? She’s gay as a device, right?

IGNATIY: Yeah…Well everthing in this film is a….

CHRISTY:  She’s not a real person.

IGNATIY: …Something as a device.  

CHRISTY: Right.

IGNATIY: As a plot device

CHRISTY: And the whole thing with him and his daughter played by Camilla Belle is supposed to be the heart of the film.  Right? He wants to rehabilitate himself and create one last great invention to win her back.  He’s lost her trust.  She’s not fleshed out at all, and so you don’t care about her.

IGNATIY: Well, no one is fleshed out not even Spacey is fleshed out.

CHRISTY: Right.

CHRISTY: We, you know, don’t even believe that he’s rehabilitated or that he’s gotten better.  I mean and that’s actually just one flaw out of many.  I mean this is…

CHRISTY: And the whole Virgina Madsen character, she plays his ex-wife.  She’s just bitter and shrill and spent all his money.

IGNATIY: There’s..there’s a lot of misogyny going on in this movie.

CHRISTY: It’s just weird all around.

IGNATIY: Yeah.