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'Two Weeks'

Despite its sappy digressions and occasional tonal inconsistency, 2005's underrated The Family Stone displayed an unpredictable energy that breathed new life into several moribund clichés of the family film: the sibling rivalries, the dying matriarch, the inevitable re-establishing of bonds. By comparison, writer-director-producer Steve Stockman's ineffectual shrug of a deathbed dramedy hardly inspires much response at all. Sally Field (nicely restrained) plays Anita, who knows she's about to lose her battle with cancer and consequently gathers her grown children to her North Carolina home for a final farewell. There the kids grow closer in rather unsurprising ways. Stockman shies away from histrionic monologues and teary revelations, but on the whole Two Weeksfeels too detached and well-mannered for its own good.

 
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