3 Days With Dad may not be the gut punch you’d expect from a film about a dying father, but it makes for a decent coming of age tale – for a grown man.
|Screenplay By||Larry Clarke|
|Good If You Like|
|Susan||Julie Ann Emery|
|Dawn||Lesley Ann Warren|
Plot Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)
When it comes to Bob and Eddie, their relationship has long been contentious. Be it because of Eddie’s lack of faith, or not expressing it how Bob would like, or the fact Bob is very conservative in his beliefs. Also, you’d have to factor in Bob is an old school kind of guy and Eddie, a doorman, doesn’t fit his definition of what a grown man should be. Thus leading to many snide comments and a difficult relationship.
However, as his father goes from just an old curmudgeon to someone within their final days of life, Eddie finds himself facing the advice and example his father is leaving.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- If watching this movie for J.K. Simmons, know he doesn’t show up in the film until the last half hour and doesn’t necessarily have a large role.
Eddie’s Relationship With His Dad, Brick, and Susan
If you hone in on Eddie and his relationships, treat him as an only child, this movie finds a way to be touching, comical, and maybe the slightest bit romantic. Not enough to consider it one of the primary genres, but you get enough of a taste to understand why this can be seen as a coming of age story.
For what Eddie wrestles with is nothing forcing him to grow up and do more than skate by or survive. Also, while he has bills and responsibilities, none of it is pressing or, at least, he doesn’t have a reason to strive and work hard. Which, as you can imagine, for an old school man like Bob, this is frustrating to see. Especially after you bust your behind to raise multiple kids and you don’t see that work ethic passed down onto one.
Which makes the inclusion of Brick and Susan important for both act as a wake-up call. Brick, being paralyzed from the neck down, is a reminder of why Eddie needs to live his life to the fullest. Then with Susan, she and Eddie share a personal history that makes him understand all the things Bob has been trying to drill into his son, it wasn’t for naught. It was to prepare him to have the ability to be a provider, contribute something, rather than simply be another person in the room.
Not to say Bob was the type who’d say his kids were special, the best, or anything like that. However, with his conservative beliefs going beyond Catholicism and into politics, the last thing he’d want sharing his last name would be a deadbeat.
On The Fence
Eddie’s Siblings, and Step Mother Feel Like Fat On This Film
While Andy, Dawn, and Diane have their own stories going on, in terms of their connection to Bob, I can’t say any of them necessarily sell you a reason to invest. Dawn, as lovely as she is, is rooted in more so being a comical character than someone balanced between the pain of losing their husband and finding means to be funny.
Then with Andy, if you know Tom Arnold, it is pretty much what you’re used to seeing from him. Which doesn’t boost the movie at all and that isn’t to say he brings it down either. With Andy being the closest in line with Bob’s beliefs, you can see Bob’s influence on Andy, and that is his purpose in the movie. It is just, the role is so limited, as are all mentioned under this topic, they don’t get to really plant their flag like Eddie.
Which can also be said for Diane who, politically, is a complete opposite of Bob, but her conflicts with Bob’s beliefs, and her issues as a mother, aren’t really dived into. They are touched upon so, like Andy and Dawn, you get a sense they have a life, but not a full, 3D, equal to Eddie, sense of development.
3 Days With Dad Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
3 Days With Dad, when you just focus on Eddie, is an enjoyable film about a man having a coming of age moment in his 30s or 40s. However, when you add his siblings, and stepmom, the film becomes a bit bloated. Not to the point you will feel the film is tiresome, but you can definitely see that if Eddie was an only child and Dawn wasn’t in the picture, this could have been a wonderful dark comedy, with some dramatic elements.
Leading to why the mixed label. What you see in 3 Days With Dad is the kind of film which seemed to seek out actors with name recognition to boost itself rather than rely on the heart of the story. Thus making it so there are a lot of characters who feel underdeveloped and who take up time that could have been better used to develop Eddie’s relationships further and present a comedic, yet complicated, person.