Alone With His Family (Movie Thoughts: A Family Man)

7_AFamily_ManI have not thought of Gerald Butler in a long time so it was kind of nice to see him in a new film, ‘A Family Man.’  It’s such a generic title, I thought, but then I found out that when this movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, it was under a different title, ‘The Headhunter’s Calling.’  That made sense, since he plays a Gordon Gekko type character here, as a professional recruiter – who thought that this profession was such a cut throat field, and for middle management jobs? Aren’t those jobs obsolete by now? Anyway, his character faces a family crisis when his son gets inflicted with leukemia, and has a retrieved reformation turn-around. Butler produced the movie and I could see him saying that this would be a good vehicle for him, as he is in practically every scene, displaying ‘range’ from ruthless to sensitive. I wasn’t convinced. The role could have used a little bit more introspection and subtlety, and perhaps he still has to develop those abilities. He ravages through everything here, and is so self-aware that you can sense him saying to himself, wow that was a good scene and people will see how good I am.  Of course, it doesn’t help that the plot is predictable. Gretchen Mol, as his wife, has a little more shading, and Alison Brie is always good, but they are just decorative pieces here to highlight Butler so it’s a shame.


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