Review: Welcome To The Rileys

If you’re going to make a straight drama with zero bells and whistles, you better have a very fascinating story up your sleeve. Writer Ken Hixon may have developed a unique dysfunctional family film with curiously troubled characters, but on screen, much of that interest is extinguished by a lack of emotion, awkward relationships and primarily the film’s sluggish pace.

Doug Riley (James Gandolfini) isn’t a happy guy. He lost his only child in a car accident, his wife Lois (Melissa Leo) is agoraphobic and his only real solace comes from an extramarital affair with a diner waitress. While in New Orleans for a business conference, Doug just can’t get with it. Rather than adhere to the schedule, he ditches the convention and heads straight for a local strip club. That’s where he meets Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a supposedly 22-year-old stripper he winds up taking home and spending the night with. No, not for any dirty business, but just to be nice.

The next morning Doug awakes not to rush off to work, but to get to the store to buy the tools necessary to refurbish Mallory’s dilapidated abode. As the days go on the two begin to develop a father-daughter-like relationship with the exception of the fact that Doug pays Mallory $100 for every day he stays with her. Then again, the fact that he docks her a dollar for every F-bomb she drops, puts the connection right back into daddy-daughter territory. Meanwhile, back at home, Lois is desperately trying to overcome her fears and drive down to New Orleans to reunite with her husband.

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