Watch Max Dugan Returns
- 1 hr 38 min
Max Dugan Returns is a charming comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, released in 1983. The film stars an ensemble cast of Jason Robards, Marsha Mason, and Donald Sutherland in lead roles. The story revolves around a single mother, Nora McPhee (Marsha Mason), who struggles to make ends meet and raise her teenage son, Michael (Matthew Broderick), while dealing with the chaos of her eccentric father's sudden return.
The film opens with Nora, a schoolteacher in Los Angeles, who is burdened with financial constraints, both personally and professionally. Her father, Max Dugan (Jason Robards), suddenly turns up at her doorstep after a long absence of fifteen years, with a briefcase full of cash and some valuable items under his arm.
Max is a charismatic man with a knack for entertaining others, but Nora is initially hesitant to let him into her life due to his history of abandoning her as a child. However, she relents and allows him to stay with her and Michael, who is thrilled to meet his grandfather for the first time.
As the days pass, Max's presence becomes a beacon of hope for the McPhee family. He indulges Michael by buying him expensive gifts and taking him out on exciting adventures while also helping Nora by paying off her debts and showering her with gifts. However, Nora becomes increasingly suspicious of Max's sudden wealth and the source of his newfound generosity.
Throughout the film, Nora tries to uncover the mystery behind her father's sudden return and wealth, while struggling to balance her duty as a mother and her attraction towards her sister's suave ex-boyfriend, Brian Costello (Donald Sutherland), who has a history with Max.
The film's strength lies in the effortless chemistry between the characters, particularly between Marsha Mason and Jason Robards, who play the estranged father-daughter duo. Robards steals the show with his charismatic and witty portrayal of Max, showing vulnerability beneath his rakish exterior. Similarly, Mason's portrayal of Nora is authentic and relatable, showing her desperation to provide for her family while dealing with emotional baggage from her past.
Matthew Broderick also shines in his portrayal of Michael, a typical teenager who is trying to navigate the complexities of teenage life while grappling with the sudden return of his grandfather. He has some of the film's funniest moments, particularly in his interactions with Max.
The film's themes of family, forgiveness, and redemption are well-crafted and touching, without being too sentimental. The screenplay by Neil Simon is witty, with several funny one-liners, while Ross's direction keeps the film light and breezy, without taking away from its emotional depth.
In conclusion, Max Dugan Returns is a delightful film that captures the essence of a dysfunctional family's journey towards forgiveness and redemption. With its talented ensemble cast, witty script, and excellent direction, the film is a must-watch for fans of heartwarming comedies.
Max Dugan Returns is a 1983 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.