Thing About My Folks, The (2005) - Synopsis
"The Thing About My Folks" teams two singular talents - legendary actor Peter Falk ("The Inlaws," "Columbo") and writer/actor Paul Reiser ("Diner," "Mad About You") – for a hilariously truthful look at family and marriage. Directed by Raymond De Felitta, "The Thing About My Folks" follows a father and son who set out on an impromptu road trip in the wake of mom’s unexpected flight after 47 years of marriage.
Ben Kleinman (played by Reiser) knows that his mother wrote a farewell to Sam Kleinman (Peter Falk) once before – a letter penned two weeks before his birth and never sent. When Ben, in a fit of anger, decides to show Sam the letter, he opens up a monumental can of worms – and a new chapter in his relationship with his father. Finding the past four decades of his life called into question, Sam responds in a surprisingly impulsive fashion: he buys the car of his college dreams and proposes a road trip to his incredulous son.
Over the next several days and nights, Ben will have the trip with his dad that he’d always wanted as child. Through various idylls and misadventures in the small towns of upstate New York, Ben and Sam will chat, argue, get drunk, and generally get to know one another as never before. And despite generational differences, they discover they have a good deal in common – including a basic cluelessness about the women in their lives. For both men, it will be a time to take a closer look at the ties that bind – and ponder what really goes on in any marriage, and what could be changed if the chance were given. With its observational humor and sympathy for its characters’ flaws and follies, Thing About My Folks speaks to a universal experience of family as both screwy and sublime.