If you are a fan of cheesy comedy and heart-warming morals then Reuniting the Rubins is the film for you. Timothy Spall leads an all-star cast in this family-friendly tale directed by Yoav Factor. Expect cheesy comedy, family politics, heavy-handed morals and unexpectedly heart-warming scenes.
This is not another Meet The Parents-esque calamity film that the classification of ‘family comedy’ can sometimes involve. Although it does bring reluctant members of a family together with explosive results and the jokes are just as cringe-worthy, but at times it is because they are a little too obvious. Saying that though, the comedy in Reuniting the Rubins is clearly meant to be this type of stereotypical British humour and once you realise this, you can enjoy it for what it is and welcome the laughs.
Spall played Winston Churchill in The King’s Speech and you will probably also recognise him from his performance as Wormtail in the Harry Potter films. It is a little difficult to remove the image of Scabbers the rat from one’s mind, however once you get past that you can appreciate his role as the tedious head of an uncooperative family. Spall plays the role of the uncharismatic, pressured son and father who just wants a quiet life and has a lot of opportunity to perfect his exasperated ‘sigh’. He is forced by his sick mother, played by Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore in the Bond film Goldfinger), into bringing his family back together and basically the hilarity stems from there.
The Rubin children are all extreme stereotypes. You have the highly-strung businessman played by James Callis (Battlestar Galactica, Bridget Jones’ Diary). Then there is the passionate activist who lives in the Congo and is trying to save the world, played by Rhona Mitra (Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans, The Number 23). Of course, there is also a Rabbi and a Buddhist, completing one generation of the diverse family. While it is clearly a recipe for comedic disaster, these characters are all so different that it can sometimes be a bit too much. The comedy that would have been created in more subtle circumstances may have worked better, and it seems to be trying a little too hard to be funny.
The obvious humour in Reuniting the Rubins is not necessarily a bad thing however. It enhances various boldly drawn characters and pits them against each other. Will the uptight business-man ever loosen up and spend more time with his son? Will he stop bossing his assistant Nick around (played by Neil from The Inbetweeners)? Will the passionate activist ever save the world? What on earth is the Rabbi doing and will the Buddhist turn up and save everything? The moral in the end is heart-warming as well as extremely cheesy, but if you like that in a film then this is one to watch.
Reuniting the Rubins comes out on October 21st in selected cinemas.