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Imaginary Heroes (2004)

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, more...
Director: Dan Harris, Dan Harris
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Coming of Age
Running Time: 111 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: French
    see additional details...

A shocking and tragic event causes the members of a quietly dysfunctional family to reexamine themselves and their lives in this drama. Ben and Sandy Travis (Jeff Daniels and Sigourney Weaver) are a couple whose troubled family begins to crumble when their eldest son, star college athlete Matt (Kip Pardue) commits suicide. Sandy's naturally cynical nature becomes all the more prickly, and while she tries to bond with her surviving teenaged son, Tim (Emile Hirsch), they seem closest when they discover a shared fondness for marijuana. Ben also tries to reach out to Tim, but the young man is never able to shake the feeling that he's never quite been the son his father wanted. Tim has a girlfriend, Steph (Suzanne Santo), but their relationship has been going through a rocky patch, and Tim finds himself questioning his feelings about women and men when his friendship with next-door neighbor Kyle (Ryan Donowho) evolves into something more intimate. Imaginary Heroes was written and directed by Dan Harris, best known for his work as a screenwriter on the blockbuster comic-book adaptation X-Men and projected remakes of Superman and Logan's Run. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

An Heroic New Writer/Director by talltale June 8, 2005 - 9:35 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Ambition in a movie can be compelling--unless the moviemaker's reach far exceeds the grasp. Fortunately, Dan Harris' grasp (he's the writer/director of IMAGINARY HEROES) comes within a decent reach of what I believe he's aiming for: an honest, all-out depiction of the American family circa 2004. Everything's here--the missed connections, generation gap, drugs, sex (a tad less of this than you might expect, but the movie's no less believable for the omission), and mostly all the "baggage" that family members will carry with them to the grave.

Harris' take and tone on his content may throw some viewers off-kilter: you can't figure out for a while if this is a comedy or tragedy. But then you consider your own life, just for a moment, and realize how difficult it can be to differentiate the two. As good as is Harris' direction and writing, the movie soars due to the wonderful performances he pulls from every member of his ensemble cast.

This young man (in his mid-20s, I'm told!) is one hell of a "find." Tip-offs for me were the extraordinarily subtle moments when an idea glistened without ever declaring itself. Consequently, I would find myself wondering about a character's sexuality long before any beans were spilled. Toward the end, I suddenly said aloud, "My god, he could have SAVED him!" not from any sledge-hammering home of a conclusion but from a tossed-off line, a pause and the expression on a character's face. The rapt attention you'll probably give to this movie will pay off tenfold. I can't imagine what kind of film Mr. Harris will attempt next, but if it's any better than "Imaginary Heroes," hold on to your hat.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.77)
31 Votes
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