© Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH 

Die Hollars - Eine Wahnsinnsfamilie (The Hollars)
U.S.A. 2016

Opening 12 Jan 2017

Directed by: John Krasinski
Writing credits: Jim Strouse
Principal actors: John Krasinski, Margo Martindale, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick

A witty dramedy, that will make you laugh, cry and wish you had no regrets in life, it is a surprisingly entertaining and unpredictable film. Opening act: troubled and depressed divorced mess of a man-child Ron Hollar (Sharlto Copley) wearing only boxers stands in front of a door knocking, only to discover all bathrooms are being occupied by his parents. In his desperation to relieve himself, he walks to the kitchen and grabs a water decanter and proceeds to relieve himself. Father, Don Hollar (Richard Jenkins), walks-in on him. Humiliated and embarrassed, he asks his father to turn away and let him finish what he started (audience breaks out laughing). We then hear a thump coming from upstairs, the men run and find mother Sally Hollar (Emmy-winning Martindale) lying on the floor unable to move. Don asks her to stop playing and tells her to get up, but soon realizes that this is a real medical emergency- for God’s sake the woman is having a seizure, and soon learns, she has a brain tumor. And so, life begins to take a different turn for this loving and dysfunctional family, which is suddenly forced to face its troubled demons. Isn‘t that what life is made of: laughter and tears?

After hearing of the news, that Sally is in the hospital, pushy and very pregnant girlfriend Rebecca (Kendrick) buys her boyfriend, John Hollar (Krasinski, longtime costar of “The Office“) a ticket back to his rural hometown in Ohio. The news that Sally has been growing a tumor in her brain for the last fifteen years forces everyone to reflect on their lives and confront the reasons why they all are unhappy and full of regret. John is faced with the realization that, perhaps, his graphic novelist career path was not the right path to follow, as he feels more of a struggling artist in NYC than an accomplished creative genius. The patriarch, Don Hollar, is not only depressed and anxious to see his wife sick in the hospital, but his once booming business is now bankrupt. The thought of losing his wife, and losing what he has sooo hard worked for his entire life-scares the living hell out of him. He tells his son, John, if I could do it all over again- I would do things differently. John, later, hears from his ill mother, that she never should’ve married Don, which only pushes John over the edge, as he himself is already dealing with the anxiety of his unhappy life back in New York City. Ron Hollars is in a totally different screwed-up world; not only is he dealing with a divorce that he himself wanted, but regrets having done so, and stalks his ex-wife and daughters, making ex-wife and children uncomfortable and fearful that Ron, is really losing it. Throughout all of this ordeal, suffering, and disappointment, girlfriend Rebecca and mother Sally, manage to always keep things together and keep the family focused and centered, like the good matriarchs they are. In spite of all the personal crises they all seem to be dealing with at the same time, we get a glimpse of a family, that sticks together and focuses on making things right again.

The Hollars, is an uplifting film with a stellar cast that you will enjoy watching. The magnificent performances, by Martindale and Jenkins will touch you, and the humor in the script will make you laugh and smile.  (Sandra Ibarra)

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