- 1 hr 45 min
Papa is a heartwarming drama film from 1987, directed by Bob Clark and starring Dermot Mulroney as a young man named Nick who discovers a secret about his grandfather, dubbed 'Papa' played by John Karlen, that changes the course of his life. The movie opens with Nick, a struggling musician who is trying to make a living in Los Angeles, receiving a phone call from his mother telling him that his grandfather has passed away. Nick reluctantly returns to his hometown in Ohio for the funeral and to reunite with his family, whom he has not seen in years. Upon his arrival, he discovers that his grandfather has left him a small sum of money and a letter that reveals a family secret - that Nick's father is not his biological father. Instead, Papa reveals that Nick's real father was a musician who played in Papa's band decades ago. Nick becomes consumed with the idea of finding his real father and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, he encounters several colorful characters, including a brash bartender (Tess Harper) who becomes his love interest and a surly bandmate of his grandfather's (Brian Doyle-Murray) who has his own secrets to reveal. The film balances moments of humor and drama as Nick seeks to uncover the truth about his past and reconcile with his family. As he delves deeper into his family history, he learns more about the sacrifices his grandfather and mother made for him and gains a newfound respect for them. The acting in Papa is exceptional, with Mulroney delivering a nuanced and empathetic portrayal of Nick, who is struggling to find his place in the world. John Karlen, best known for his role in the popular TV series Dark Shadows, gives a moving performance as Papa, a man who has devoted his life to his family and has kept a secret for decades. Tess Harper brings her signature charm to her role as the tough-talking bartender who helps Nick on his journey. The film's musical score, composed by Paul Zaza, is a highlight, with original songs that capture the spirit and energy of the film's setting. The cinematography by Stephen M. Katz is also noteworthy, capturing the beauty of Ohio's countryside. Overall, Papa is a touching and entertaining film that explores themes of family, love, and identity. It offers a poignant reminder that no matter how much one might think they know about their family and themselves, there is always more to discover.