It Runs in the Family (2003 film)
|It Runs in the Family|
|Directed by||Fred Schepisi|
|Produced by||Michael Douglas
- Associate Producer -
- Executive Producer -
|Written by||Jesse Wigutow|
|Music by||Moose Charlap
Charles F. Sweeney Jr.
|Edited by||Kate Williams|
Buena Vista Pictures
|Box office||$8.2 million|
It Runs in the Family is a 2003 comedy-drama movie directed by Fred Schepisi and starring three generations of the Douglas family: Kirk Douglas, his son Michael Douglas, and Michael's son Cameron Douglas, who play three generations of a family. Diana Douglas (née Dill), real-life mother to Michael Douglas and ex-wife of Kirk, plays Kirk's character's wife.
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The story involves a highly successful New York City family, each with its set of problems, and highlights the difficulties of the father-son relationship. Mitchell Gromberg is trying to deal with health problems resulting from a stroke. (Kirk Douglas himself suffered a stroke in 1996.) His son, Alex, works as a lawyer in the firm that his father founded, but is questioning the usefulness of his work and his place in the family. Alex's son, Asher, does not take college seriously and seems lost. The youngest son Eli, while extremely intelligent, is entering a difficult pre-adolescent time, while being socially awkward.
When Alex indulges in a thoughtless and careless brief romantic fling and his psychologist wife Rebecca discovers it, his marriage is threatened. Asher is discovered with illegal drugs. But major life crises, although devastating, bring the family together in a familial show of support, respect, and love.
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- Michael Douglas as Alex Gromberg
- Kirk Douglas as Mitchell Gromberg
- Cameron Douglas as Asher Gromberg
- Diana Dill as Evelyn Gromberg
- Bernadette Peters as Rebecca Gromberg
- Rory Culkin as Eli Gromberg
- Michelle Monaghan as Peg Maloney
- Geoffrey Arend as Malik
- Sarita Choudhury as Suzie
- Irene Gorovaia as Abby Staley
- Annie Golden as Deb
- Mark Hammer as Stephen Gromberg
- Audra McDonald as Sarah Langley
- Josh Pais as Barney
- Adrian Martinez as Mitchell's Doorman
In his role as producer, Michael Douglas suggested his mother (Diana Dill), Rory Culkin, and Bernadette Peters for their roles. Fred Schepisi noted that they were originally considering Sigourney Weaver for the part of Michael's wife. "Bernadette [Peters] was a really nice balance, playing straighter than you’d usually see her play..."
Critic Steven Holden wrote in The New York Times that the movie is a "surprisingly complex and subtle portrait", and "Besides its laudable reluctance to tie up loose ends, the most courageous thing about It Runs in the Family is its refusal to try to make you love its aggressive, strong-willed characters."
Most reviews, as tallied by rottentomatoes.com, were unfavorable or mixed; the movie has a "Rotten" rating of 28%, with the site's consensus stating "Despite its gimmick casting, the movie ultimately goes nowhere." Roger Ebert wrote: "But the movie is simply not clear about where it wants to go and what it wants to do. It is heavy on episode and light on insight, and although it takes courage to bring up touchy topics it would have taken more to treat them frankly."
- August 23, 2003
- Michael Douglas listing accessed February 9, 2009
- Holden, Stephen."Movie Review: Fathers, Sons, Grandsons, In the Script and Real Life".The New York Times, April 25, 2003
- Ebert, Roger "'It Runs In The Family'".Chicago Sun-Times, April 25, 2003
- It Runs in the Family at the Internet Movie Database
- It Runs in the Family entry from Rotten Tomatoes
- It Runs in the Family at Box Office Mojo
- Interview with Fred Schepisi August 21, 2003