THE BEAVER (2011)

TMG Scale 6.0
Starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Cherry Jones, Jennifer Lawrence

Joy Lynn: This movie lacks authenticity. For a film about the real problem of mental illness, it never feels authentic.  It is vague and unimpressive.  Foster does a nice job in her role, but the story line doesn’t match her talents.  One of the more effective scenes in the movie involves Gibson with his son Porter—a touching moment that makes you feel the pain Gibson is so eagerly trying to display throughout the film.

Porter ‘s budding relationship with Norah (Lawrence) actually brings more mystery and interest than Gibson, Foster and The Beaver all combined.  I had a difficult time finding this movie humorous.  It was somewhat painful to watch. Would anyone in therapy for depression wear a cloth beaver puppet on his arm 24/7 while showering and making love?  I hardly think so!!   Gibson has had his share of trouble.  Is this a movie directed by his very close friend, Jodie Foster, to reconcile fans and to convince them to forgive him for all his outbursts and outrageous behavior in recent years? Only The Beaver knows!

TMG: I was glad Joy Lynn took the first stab at this film. I was hung up on all the possible comparisons to Leave it to Beaver—the television series from 1950-60’s. Gibson and Foster as Walter and Meredith Black easily could have played June and Ward Cleaver given the slight resemblance to Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont.  They have two young boys, Porter and Henry,  much like Wally and Beaver. Porter’s high school friends are always getting him in trouble. Even Porter’s  upper bedroom reminded me of Wally and “The Beavs” bedroom.  I just couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened if Ward Cleaver had gone over the edge one day.

Mental illness is a compelling topic. This movie just took it to a hijinx level worthy of Eddie Haskel and Lumpy Rutherford.  I really never bought in or accepted Walter’s affliction or the cure. Nice try. It just fell short.

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