It seems former The Office star John Krasinski had watched Garden State and The Judge a few times before hopping into the directors chair for the first time in his new film The Hollars, which he is also the lead. The film centers around a struggling artist and father to be named John Hollar who is living in New York City with his wealthy future baby momma played by Anna Kendrick. John is stuck in a rut creatively with his life when things get worse after receiving news that his mother Sally (Margot Martindale) has a brain tumor. John is forced to leave the city and head back to his small hometown to help take care of his dysfunctional family.
As stated earlier, The Hollars seems like very familiar territory and a film that should have been regulated to the small screen if it wasn’t for the cast which includes Charile Day, Sharlto Copely and Richard Jenkins. The Hollars is your typical guy has to return to the hometown he left in the rear view mirror. Of course the family John returns to is extremely messed up and full of problems both personally and financially.
John works out his problems in the most clichéd style possible which includes ex-girlfriend visits and the typical out of the blue marriage proposals. Besides the generic dramedy moments, The Hollars is full of silly characters who hurt the film’s vibe including John’s deadbeat brother Ron played by Copely and his Ex’s annoying new husband (Charlie Day) who is just a pointless distraction throughout his time in the film.
The laughs and some of the characters may fall flat, but one person makes this hot mess of a film watchable and even enjoyable at times. Margot Martindale is the worth the price of admission as the Hollar matriarch who up until her tumor had kept the family secrets and problems under wrap. The Hollars is Margot’s show as she gives a truly genuine performance as a woman facing her own mortality while trying to make sure everyone else is okay. She will make you smile as she puts the members of the family in their place and will make you do a little self-reflection of your own as Sally expresses her regrets in life that are heartbreaking, but truthful. Without the amazing performance of Martindale, The Hollars would be a bad movie with goofy moments that don’t match the rest of the vibe in the film.
Overall, I give The Hollars 2.25 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell