I think this every holiday season: without children, we don’t need the traditional celebrations. If I was Queen, I’d say screw the turkey and save the Christmas (Or Hanukkah) gift money and let’s do an activity; philanthropic donations and bowling perhaps.
I say this to introduce how I felt about The Fablemans, directed by Steven Spielberg which he co-wrote with Tony Kushner. Meaning, most of the adults were acting on an annoying stage play hyperbolic level while the kids were believable, led by the ideal super actor and “Spielberg teenage representative”, Gabrielle LaBelle.
Paul Dano was decent as the nerd scientist Dad who’s enamored by his wife’s histrionics, ignoring her fixation on his best friend (Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen respectively). Williams and Rogen took part of the fun of of this film for me, due to the aforementioned, ‘adults are boring’ thesis. Their acting was eye rollingly annoying, so schmaltzy you wondered who could even stand being in the same room with them. But I guess that’s why they were meant to be together. Judd Hirsch, while also melodramatic, as an Uncle of Williams, made more sense to me (who doesn’t have an out there Uncle?).
The teenage high school rom com section was spot on which is saying something since I’m usually allergic to the cliche high school bullies, first romance, yada yada. Here, I was riveted with breathtaking scenes between LaBelle and Chloe East as well as LaBelle and Sam Rechner’s hallway scene (all three definitely future stars). These moments were complex on a level that the adult parts were not. Fortunately the kids took over this movie in time and grandeur and made this holiday film worth participating in.