IMAGINARY HEROES (Dan Harris). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (March 18). For venues and times, see Movies, page 90. Rating: N Rating: N
When Quentin Tarantino created the second coming of John Travolta, the actor's clout sent us to hell on Battlefield Earth. When Ashton Kutcher became a demigod, My Boss's Daughter, a movie of innumerable offences, left the shelf to torture us in mainstream theatres. And so it is that Imaginary Heroes came to pass. Established as the little writer who could on X2, young Dan Harris was given free rein for his pet project, this fascinatingly awful dysfunctional family drama that combines every overused storyline from an already overdone genre.
The real tragedy is that he takes stars Sigourney Weaver and Jeff Daniels down with him.
Clearly thinking more is more, Harris serves up a virtual buffet of angst for the unlucky Travis bunch. Son Tim (a wasted Emile Hirsch ) gets sexual awakening smothered in incest; mother Sandy (Weaver) is allotted adultery with a side of drugs; and lucky dad Ben (Daniels) is given two generous helpings of asshole soup and apathy.
You can't blame the actors for jumping onto this wreck. Their issue-overwhelmed characters are given plenty of opportunity to emote for wannabe Oscar consideration scenes, and no doubt Daniels wants to be remembered for more than sitting on the crapper. Unfortunately, that's where this film belongs.
Harris is set to write and direct the upcoming Superman film. If he can make it fly, then he'll be a hero.