Unfortunately, but unfortunately not, many who have given the film a fair share of appreciation have never come around to appreciate why it is so likable. Like the year 2021 itself, this movie starts out good. Then it begins to go a bit wobbly, with major flaws that ruin what could have been a brilliant film. By the end of the film, I was legitimately worried that it would fall apart completely, but instead it holds together and then crumbles.
But before we get too far into that, let's take a look at the main story line of the film, which revolves around a widowed man, Eric (Kevin Pollack), who has been away from his wife and children for several years. He decides to take his wife and kids on a trip to their ancestral home in Vermont, where their great-grandmother (Debra Messing) lives. Everything goes well until their car breaks down on the road, and Eric must use his own training for driving, as well as his knowledge of the area, to get them back on the road. Everything goes according to plan, but then, as if having been randomly thrown into an animated realm, a mysterious stranger shows up and takes Eric's wife and children, along with his own personal plane, leaving him with a plane that he barely managed to escape when his plane crashed.
This being the plot of the film, it is easy to see why the film had been widely panned by film critics. Some thought that the movie revolved around nothing more than another attempt by Kevin Pollack to become the next Jason Statham. That in and of itself makes the film slightly ridiculous, but then everything else that happens doesn't help much. This is one of the reasons why I can't think of a single person who owns a yearly departed DVD that likes it.
This film, despite its poor reviews, did actually accomplish one thing: it made me very happy. Not only was it a good comedy but it also did a fantastic job at telling the story of a family experiencing the process of growing apart, or simply going their separate ways. The film revolves around two sets of parents: Jason Statham's (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a wealthy executive who has a difficult time making sure that his young wife and teenage daughter don't grow too far apart. Meanwhile, Tess Kalb (Robin Wright) is a freelance journalist who spends her days trying to find the life she left behind when her husband passed away.
It's moments like these that really make you appreciate how effectively the movie was able to bring humor to what could otherwise have been a rather depressing event. In addition, the way that the actors play off one another, and the way that the movie's various characters, from Jason Statham's executive producer to Robin Wright's daughter, say the things that they need to say to each other to make the scenes feel like real people's dialogues, is a bit of masterful acting. And when they all come together in the final reel to tell their respective farewells to each other, the movie ends on an emotional high.
There are many examples of movies that I have seen that made me laugh so hard that I felt like I had just gotten hit in the face with a baseball bat, but nothing has been as satisfying as watching the final seconds of Last Year's Fare like it was written for my Instagram Influencers. In the film, Statham plays a character named Alex Cross, and he's one of the people who knows about the annual departure of a recently deceased college professor. After learning about the tragic event, he makes it a point to visit the college campus to pay his last respects. What is it about this scene that is so touching? Well, that's the power of the internet to connect with audiences that may live thousands of miles apart.