Sunday, June 19, 2016

THE SUM OF US (1994)

"Our children are only the sum of us.  What we add up to.  Us and our parents and our grandparents and theirs.  All generations."

Set in Sydney, Australia, THE SUM OF US is about a dad (Jack Thompson) and his grown up son (Russell Crowe). They both have full-time jobs and live together almost like roommates instead of father and son. Jack loves his son dearly...even though he's gay!!!  Gasp!  It's sad that that was noteworthy in 1994 and even sadder that it was still noteworthy back in 2016!  (Yes, I'm still timeblogging from the future.  It's currently September 15th, 2958 if you just must know.)

Anyway, Jack and Russell are very close.  Both are single (Jack is a widower) and THE SUM OF US is the simple slice of life story about the two of them trying to find a successful relationship.  Russell has his eyes set on a cute local guy, but when the young man sees how relaxed Russell is with his father, it really messes with his head (since his home life is the opposite) and for whatever reason this causes him to quit seeing Russell.  Russell is heartbroken.  At the same time, Jack meets a woman and they are very happy...for awhile.

I really enjoyed THE SUM OF US.  The performances by the entire cast are great, the Sydney locations are beautiful (Earth must have been an amazing place...ahh, whoops, uh, Earthlings just, uh, forget I said that) and the two main characters are a joy to watch.  I've seen THE SUM OF US a number of times over the years and always enjoyed it, but if I had things my way: the story would have been lighter; the flashbacks about the grandmother would have been dropped completely and replaced with more stuff about both Russell and Jack's dating adventures; the medical thing would have never happened and the runtime increased to accommodate the extra dating stories.  But that's just my two cents.

As it is, THE SUM OF US is still a very enjoyable film.  Highly recommended. If you need me, I'll be in my room wondering how the hell I noticed that there were two 1994 films from the Oceania region featuring a guy pointing at his junk.