Picks and Pans Review: The Thing About My Folks

updated 10/03/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/03/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Paul Reiser, Peter Falk, Olympia Dukakis

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Midway into their meandering road trip, dad Falk and son Reiser drive away their bored female dinner companions with yet another round of bland reminiscences. After all, who wants to listen to a father and son rehash their dull—and perfectly ordinary—past for an hour and a half?

It's a question that TV vet Reiser—who wrote the sitcommy script in which mom Dukakis's Dear John note prompts him and Falk to hit the road so they can predictably bicker and bond—should have pondered. Instead, he channels his tired Paul Buchman persona for what is basically Mad About Dad. Only the curmudgeonly Falk, as comically spry as ever, makes Folks fun. He infuses the film with much-needed heart but is working way too hard for a character whose primary arc revolves around flatulence. (PG-13)

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