At one time, this film was known as LUCKY 13, then the title was
switched to
KEEPING UP WITH THE STEINS. Neither really captures
exactly the theme of the film, which is healing family discord. The
movie is an amusing, if somewhat familiar, comedy-drama in which
a teenager's bar mitzvah becomes the catalyst for his reconciliation
between his father and grandfather.

   The movie opens with the lavish and expensive
TITANIC-themed
bar mitzvah of Zachary Stein. His dad is Arnie (Larry Miller), an agent
whose former partner, Adam Fiedler (Jeremy Piven) is in attendance with
his wife Joanne (Jami Gertz) and his son Benjamin (Daryl Sabara).
Benjamin's entry into manhood is set to occur in a couple of months and
his competitive father wants to outdo the Steins: after a baseball
theme is decided upon, Dodger Stadium is booked as the venue.

   What the film really centers on, though, is the reconciliation of Adam
with his estranged father Irwin (Garry Marshall, the father of the film's
director Scott Marshall) who abandoned the family years earlier.
Benjamin invites his grandfather -- two weeks early -- in an effort
to distract his dad.

   When Irwin arrives with his much younger girlfriend Sacred Feather,
also known as Sandy (Daryl Hannah), Adam predictably freaks out --
even more when his mother Rose (Doris Roberts) welcomes her
estranged husband.

   Will it all turn out? What do you think? Part of the fun is in watching
how, although one's enjoyment of the movie will depend on many factors.
Comedy, of course, is a very subjective medium; what some find
hilarious, others won't. At the screening I attended, one female critic
clearly was having a great time. Me? There are few laughs, but the
movie didn't exactly tickle my funny bone.

   
           Rating:                C
           MPAA Rating:        PG-13 for some crude language, nudity
                                           and brief drug references
           Running time:       99 mins.



             Viewed at the Regal Battery Park Stadium 11
Keeping Up with the Steins
©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.