Funny and Warm Road Trip
What do you do with an incorrigible grandpa who sells illegal marijuana out of the trunk of an old Rolls Royce? In Boundaries, you go on a road trip with him!
Daughter Laura, played with humor and intensity by an excellent Vera Farmiga, sees a therapist to deal with her emotional needs. Although her dad constantly calls her, she refuses his calls because she doesn’t want to deal with the eccentric old goat. Memories of being neglected as a child now are resolved by taking the form of rescuing cats and dogs who are misfits, just as she feels as well.
Laura has a 14 year-old son Henry (an exceptional young actor named Lewis MacDougall) who is slightly off with a warped sense of humor. His penchant for drawing nude pictures of his teachers and lady principal (Jill Teed) causes him to be summarily expelled from school. Mom wants to enroll him into an expensive private school but has no money. Where to get it? What about a dad?! Her dad? Henry’s dad?
Fate steps in and creates a situation to make Laura feel even more guilty than she already does. Gramps gets kicked out of his rest home for setting up a cannabis nursery on the premises, shocking all patrons and the administration. Oscar® winner Christopher Plummer pops up as the charmingly loveable con-man Jack, dad to Laura and grandpa to Henry. Because he has nowhere to go, he talks Laura into driving across country to his other daughter JoJo’s one-room studio apartment in Hollywood. JoJo is played by the hilarious stand-up comic Kristen Schaal.
What nobody realizes involves Jack’s plans to sell marijuana to his various customers all along the way, and that he stashes his “stash” in the trunk of his old Rolls Royce. Thus, he can raise money for Henry’s private schooling. This leads the trio to get involved in some hilarious hijinks concerning the Highway Patrol and other looney characters along the route. Christopher Lloyd plays Jack’s old pal, and he seems to be reprising the same goofball character he played in Back to the Future in 1985, with electrified hair and all.
A stop is made along the way to visit Henry’s dad who abandoned him when he divorced Laura. Bobby Cannavale, an accomplished Broadway actor, plays the good-for-nothing father with humor and animal attractiveness. So much so, Laura falls for his persuasive gab---again--- and ends up in a compromising situation that does not help solve the problems facing her and Henry. He’s a wash-out as far as squeezing any money out of him for Henry’s education.
The film, written and directed by Shana Feste (who is rumored to have based the movie on her own life), ends up as a joy for the most part. It’s funny and warm. Plus, the delightful performers are all accomplished in their profession.
Christopher Plummer -- one of the oldest working actors in Hollywood and the oldest Oscar® winner (Beginners, 2010) and the oldest nominee (All the Money in the World, 2017) -- is a fantastic performer. Bless him. Let’s see more of him and his superb acting prowess.
(Released by Sony Pictures Classics/ Stage 6 Films and rated “R” for drug material, language, sexual references, nude sketches.)