Ever since their daughter died, Lois (Melissa Leo) and Doug (James Gandolfini) have grown distant. Doug has an affair with waitress Vivian (Eisa Davis) and keeps on losing money playing poker, while Lois hasn’t left the house in a while and practically only gets by with the help of medication. After Vivian suddenly dies, Doug is completely lost. He goes to New Orleans for a conference where he meets 16-year-old runaway, stripper and prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart). On a whim he decides to stay and help Mallory out, which actually prompts Lois to finally leave the house.
I had my problems getting into the story because I just thought how Doug treats Mallory was so completely presumptuous of him that I just wanted to shake him. What gives him the right of playing father to her? I mean, it’s not that she didn’t actually need a father or that he treated her badly per se, but what business was it of his anyway?
I was waiting the entire time for Mallory to tell him to fuck off because he was not her father. She finally did properly, but only very close towards the end and by then I had been waiting too long for that to happen.
But then again that might have made the entire thing more realistic. And I did think that the script treated its characters respectfully, so at least there’s that. And the performances were pretty good, too. Especially James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo were great. Melissa Leo manages to make Lois funny without making fun of her or her mental issues which was really cool. I’m still not blown away by Kristen Stewart, but she wasn’t bad. She’s a decent actress when she has actual material to work with.
But unfortunately the movie drags on a little too long. If it had been 20 minutes shorter, I think that I would have liked it a whole lot better. As is, all it gets is a shrug.