Brief summary: Tim Travis (Emile Hirsch) lives in the shadow of his older, athletic brother Matt. When tragedy strikes the Travis family early on in the film (in the first two minutes, really), most of the Travis family struggles to keep things together, while Tim largely couldn’t care less. Throughout the film, Tim’s disconnected emotions lead him to drug abuse, drunk driving, being sexually experimental, and more. All the while, his mom (Sigourney Weaver) uses marijuana to escape and ease a lot of her pain (emotional and physical). Although Tim is close to his mother and his sister Penny (Michelle Williams), he still feels like he’s floating through life without any purpose. It doesn’t help that his dad (Jeff Daniels) is an empty shell of a father, immersed in drink.
A fantastic screenplay written and directed, at the time, by a guy just out of college (Dan Harris, who was 25 when the film was released). Beautiful music score, especially the final instrumental piece, by Deborah Lurie. A sleeper film, for sure…. but as is true with all underrated films, don’t sleep on it.