© Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

Wer ist Daddy? (Father Figures)
U.S.A. 2017

Opening 15 Feb 2018

Directed by: Lawrence Sher
Writing credits: Justin Malen
Principal actors: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close, Harry Shearer, Ving Rhames

What kind of film can we anticipate when the opening sentence is, “Good news, I’ve found your car keys and you have the prostate of an 18-year-old; if ever you start questioning your sexuality, I’d love to introduce you to my son James.” This is spoken by Dr. Peter Reynolds (Ed Helms), a physician for colonoscopy, while examining a patient. As the film evolves, we realize that this is an unusual comment for Peter, who is more on the conservative side, especially compared to his twin brother Kyle Reynolds (Owen Wilson), whom he sees, after a long separation, at their mother Helen’s (Glenn Close) wedding. Kyle comes dressed in beach clothing, accompanied by a beautiful girlfriend from Hawaii who liberally distributes the sacred Hawaiian greeting. He is rich and famous, after having modeled for a picture on a bottle. The topic of “fathers” comes up and they realize that they never knew who their father was; even Helen can’t remember which of her lovers could be their potential father. After all, this was the wild 1970s, including Studio 54.

She suggests football star Terry Bradshaw (who plays himself), and they set off to find him. Bradshaw sends them on to Roland Hunt (J.K. Simmons). From there they meet up with Kevin O’Callaghan (Mack McGee) and then back to Ohio to Walker Tinkler (Christopher Walken). Along the way there are complications (Did Peter really sleep with his sister?), misunderstandings, disagreements and surprises (Is Kyle really a millionaire?). In the end, what the brothers really “discover” is each other, under the motto, “Life is not a race; it’s the journey that counts.”

Filmed in Miami, New York, Louisiana, and Atlanta, there are 15 songs, including “He’s not heavy, he’s my brother” sung by Neil Diamond. The excellent actors are just one of the reasons to see this feel-good movie with a surprise ending. (Becky Tan)

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