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With: Logan Miller, Noah Miller, Ed Harris, Brad Dourif, Robert Forster, Lee Meriwether, Evan Jones, Ishiah Benben
Written by: Logan Miller, Noah Miller
Directed by: Logan Miller, Noah Miller
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 114
Date: 04/29/2008

Touching Home (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Touching Home is the feature debut by local twins Logan and Noah Miller, and after watching it I suspect that their future may lie more in the realm of producing than directing or acting; their meetings may be more interesting than their movies. Apparently they accosted Ed Harris outside the Castro Theater in 2006, when the actor received the festival's Peter J. Owens award. They pitched him their project and even showed him a trailer.

The movie itself shows similar marketing smarts. It's the story of twin brothers, both baseball players, who dream of making the big time. One loses his scholarship and the other is fired from his bush league position, so they slink home, get jobs in the local quarry and hope for a chance in the spring in Arizona. Meanwhile, one brother reconnects with their alcoholic, gambling-addicted father (Harris) and finds a cute new girlfriend (Ishiah Benben), leading to fights between the brothers.

The film's major flaw is that the identical twins fail to visually distinguish themselves onscreen (one is missing a tooth, but that's not enough of a marker during a fast-moving scene). When each shot begins, it's very difficult to tell which is which. Otherwise, this is strictly Lifetime Channel material, complete with the "based on a true story" tag at the start, but the boys veer it into weepy Field of Dreams territory, making it suitable for men's heartstrings (it's a date movie, to be sure).

Moreover, Harris gets a plum Oscar-friendly supporting role, and he plays it subtly and marvelously, chewing his way through rambling drunk scenes, fighting his alcoholism and letting sadness seep through his eyes. Brad Dourif also gets one, playing Harris' developmentally disabled brother, and he plays it right, too; he's lovable and melts in with the rest of the cast rather than showing off like Rain Man or Forrest Gump.

If that's not enough, the Millers throw in a Christmas scene too! This thing is marketed six ways to Sunday, designed and directed for every occasion. The finished movie is almost beside the point.

Note: Reviewed in 2008 at the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival. The film received a theatrical release in April of 2010.

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