Last year I saw a film that centered on fractured familial relationships. In this movie there is a widowed mother who is starved for attention, a son who is overly protective of his mother and doesn't want to see her end up with the wrong man, and a potential suitor who is seen as the wrong man by said son. It's a movie that lives in sitcom-land, yet it still proved to have interesting characters who actually grew and gave, at the very least, the illusion of depth. It is not a film I could flat-out call good, but it was better than my initially very low expectations.
Sounds a lot like I am talking about Mama's Boy, but I'm not. The movie I am talking about is Mr. Woodcock, which, like Mama's Boy, has a few name stars in its cast. Why do I bring this up? Because both films seem very similar in theme and in content, yet one takes a bow on the big screen while the other heads directly to DVD.
I have to wonder if Mr. Woodcock's lackluster $25 million take had any influence on this film skipping the domestic theater in favor of a DVD release. I mean, the film has a number of recognizable stars in the cast that a theatrical release could be marketed around. You could choose lead Jon Heder, although I believe many are growing weary of his Napoleon Dynamite schtick, or perhaps Scary Movie star Anna Faris, or you could even go to the older cast members, Diane Keaton or Jeff Daniels. The more logical assumption could be that the studio, Warner Brothers, recognized that the movie they had was not all that good and rather than go through the expense of dumping it in January, they would be better to send it directly to the DVD market and catch the spontaneous rental dollars.
Perhaps I am being a bit harsh. The movie is not terrible; it is just terribly bland. It is the sort of movie you are likely to find on Comedy Central, TNT, or FX and you find yourself drawn in and before you know it, it's two in the morning and you are struggling to finish watching the movie. It's not terrible, but it's also not terribly good.