First Hit: This was very enjoyable to watch the dance of this relationship develop.
The essence of this story is about two adults George Hartman (Andy Garcia) and Edith Martin (Vera Farmiga) bringing their two respective kids to a college in Middleton for a campus tour but find something greater.
Edith’s daughter Audrey (Taissa Farmiga) wants to come to Middleton because she wants to work with Professor Dr. Roland Emerson (Tom Skerritt) while George’s son Conrad (Spencer Lofranco) thinks this middle American country college is totally lame.
The film gives a view of their respective parental relationships by going from car to car as they drive to the college. The personality of each of the parents becomes solidified the moment these two cars park in the parking lot and there is a disagreement. There is a spark between these parents and it is visible.
As the film unfolds the kids have their experience of the college, each other and wondering about their parents, while the film focuses on the budding relationship of the parents. The sequence when they get roped into demonstrating a married couple in front of the drama class was very powerful. The twist about what their children choose is like icing on the cake.
Garcia was very good as the uptight cardio surgeon wanting his son to experience, possibly what he hasn’t. Vera Farmiga is strong as the sarcastic, vulnerable, and engaging woman who wants to have more in life. Her younger sister (by 21 years) Taissa was very engaging and screen stealing when she was on camera. Lofranco was OK as Garcia’s son, and his performance grew as the film moved along. Skerritt was really good in his short role as the admired professor. Glenn German and Adam Rodgers wrote a snappy (parking lot exchange) and heart-warming script. Rodgers directed the film with a caring touch by setting up some wonderful scenes, including the bike theft.
Overall: This was a pleasure to watch – heartwarming.