The Myth of Fingerprints

Just what you would imagine would happen when the pretty players in a Ralph Lauren ad go home for Thanksgiving: Discomfort, dysfunction, and lousy communication skills make for a mopey holiday in The Myth of Fingerprints. In this anti-Norman Rockwell feature debut from writer-director Bart Freundlich, four adult children (and their assorted significant others) reunite with their parents in their pro-Norman Rockwell New England home — the first time everyone has been together in three years. But one son (ER‘s Noah Wyle, replicating his soulful-cutie TV style) is still simmering because Dad (Roy Scheider), an eccentric loner, once made a pass at his ex-girlfriend (Arija Bareikis); the other (Michael Vartan) is a screwup; one sister (feisty Julianne Moore, an invigorating breeze in all the emotional dampness) is generally furious with the world; the other (Laurel Holloman), the tomboy youngest child, is defiant. And Mom (Blythe Danner) just wafts around the house. Freundlich is smart to create an antidote to Woody Allen’s WASP envy; he could have called this Nobody Says I Love You. But, with its overdetermined intersections of too many oversimplified characters, this glum family reunion is about as involving as, say, an ad for Polo jeans. C

The Myth of Fingerprints
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