The Myth of Fingerprints

Bomb Rating: 

Dysfunction itself is not interesting; nor, as many Hollywood actors seem to think, does a character's particular pathos constitute a journey into method acting. In fact, it is often quite the opposite, and exposes the actor as somebody who is horribly overchallenged.

Take Noah Wyle, for instance. His character, Warren, comes from a whacked-out New England family that includes his quiet, father-with-a-secret (Roy Scheider), his decent mother (Blythe Danner), his dour older sister, Mia (Julianne Moore), his brother Jake (Michael Vartan), and his younger sister, Leigh (Laurel Holloman). Noah's bold contribution to a young man with a life's worth of issues? A hair-combing problem. We're supposed to believe that Noah has suddenly become some kind of serious actor because he can muss up his hair. No, he's not John Carter, M.D. Praise the Lord!

Written and directed by Bart Freundlich (whose name means Freud-licker in some foreign language), "The Myth of Fingerprints" is filled with the kind of dialogue that gives Promise Keepers the rare opportunity to laugh at somebody else with utter contempt. The words constitute intellectual drool.

By the way, this is also another one of those movies that pretends it has a story. The story is that everyone in the family wanders around waiting to bump into their pet issue so they can resolve the torture of the middle-class upbringing that has apparently traumatized their lives. We should all be so lucky.

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