Synopsis by Mark Deming
A middle-aged man finds himself dealing with the divorce of his elderly parents as well as many years of emotional baggage in this poignant comedy drama. Ben (Paul Reiser) is a writer who is enjoying a quiet evening at home with his wife, Rachel (Elizabeth Perkins), when they receive an unexpected visitor, Ben's father, Sam (Peter Falk). As it happens, Sam has some surprising news -- his wife, Muriel (Olympia Dukakis), has left him, leaving behind a note saying she wants some time alone. While Ben gets in touch with his sisters, who immediately set out to track down Muriel, he is left to deal with Sam while he tries to figure out what has gone wrong. Eager to spend some time with his dad to talk things out, Ben invites Sam along for a trip upstate to look at some property he's interested in buying, and as the two men hit the road, they get a chance to get to know one another in a way Sam, a busy salesman, was unable to do when Ben was a boy. The Thing About My Folks was a pet project for Paul Reiser, who wrote the screenplay as well as playing the lead; he'd had the script in the works for 20 years, and always intended for Peter Falk to play the role of Sam.
road-trip, divorce, property, writer, middle-age, salesperson