Combustible Celluloid Review - Reverse the Curse (2024), David Duchovny, based on his novel, David Duchovny, David Duchovny, Logan Marshall-Green, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Beghe, Evan Handler, Santo Fazio, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Pamela Adlon
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With: David Duchovny, Logan Marshall-Green, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Beghe, Evan Handler, Santo Fazio, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Pamela Adlon
Written by: David Duchovny, based on his novel
Directed by: David Duchovny
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 105
Date: 06/14/2024

Reverse the Curse (2024)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sox and Bonds

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A passion project by David Duchovny, the father-son comedy/drama Reverse the Curse resorts to some hokey moments to keep its "lie" plot afloat, but its emotional moments and its love of baseball are genuine.

Ted (Logan Marshall-Green) is a failed novelist who works selling peanuts at Yankee Stadium. He is contacted by a Death Specialist, Mariana (Stephanie Beatriz), who informs him that his father, Marty (David Duchovny), is dying of cancer. Marty is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan who sees his own life as a failure, mirroring the fate of his favorite team. Ted decides to stay with Marty to look after him.

It's the summer of 1978 and the Sox are way ahead of their rivals the Yankees in the standings, but as the fall approaches, the Yanks begin to catch up. Ted discovers that his father's mood is bolstered whenever the Sox win, so, with the help of Mariana and Marty's pals at the local barbershop, he cooks up a scheme to make it seem as if the Sox are on a huge winning streak. But there may be more to life than baseball.

Directed and written by Duchovny, and based on his own 2016 novel, Reverse the Curse contains moments that might seem more at home in a juvenile comedy, such as a farting contest, or a group of middle-aged men trying to create a fake "rainstorm" using a garden hose and metal sheetpans (and, perhaps worse, another character believing that it's real). And a budding romance between Ted and Mariana seems incidental at best.

But when things settle into the genuine, they tend to work. Ted and Marty occasionally have comical arguments that morph into small revelations, and a visit to a woman the widowed Marty once loved turns out to be surprisingly sweet. Duchovny reserves the movie's tastiest dialogue for himself, understandably; when Marty is forced to wear a suit he mutters, "I look like a vertical corpseā€¦ a pterodactyl."

What the movie does best, however, is its father-son dynamic and its ode to baseball. We never see any games (we only hear a bit of a game on the radio and there's some TV commentary and newspaper articles) but the love of baseball is all over Reverse the Curse. The movie celebrates how the sport brings people together, and perhaps fathers and sons more than anyone.

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