Daddy & Them (2001) Movie Review

daddyBy: Hank Bagwell (A Toast) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Daddy & Them is crude, offensive, hilarious and gloriously misogynistic.

A Toast

Written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, the film spins a tale of a southern couple whose jealousy knows no bounds.  They struggle enough on their own, with Claude (BBT) chasing Ruby (Laura Dern) around a suburban neighborhood with a “glass of piece” while screaming she is gonna kill herself.  Why you ask?  Well… because “YOU FUCKED MY SISTER!!”

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That’s right, years before her she was legal, ol BBT used to date his wife’s sister, Rose (Kelly Preston).  If that isn’t bad enough, the poor bastard has a mother in law (Diane Ladd) who is constantly talking about Ruby’s “damned ole ex-boyfriends” and how pretty Rose looks, a senile old father (Andy Griffith) who still thinks Rose is his daughter in law, and a wife who is jealous of every woman in sight.  “I can’t even have a head-on collision in peace.”  –  You’ll get that reference when you see the film!

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During the first few minutes you know exactly who the main characters are and what their dilemma is.  Uncle Hazel, played by Jim Varney (Earnest P. Worrel), has been arrested on some very serious charges, which requires the ENTIRE family and in-laws, to show up and… Wait, to be completely honest, I have no fucking idea why they all show up, but I am from Arkansas originally and that’s just the way we do things for some reason.  Arkansas is the only state I’ve ever been to where if your momma gets arrested for drinkin’ and drivin’, the cops will show up at your house, pick you up if you’ve been drinkin’, and drive you to the station to bail her out.  Then… They’ll give you a ride back home.  I wish I could say that weren’t a true story, but, eh.  You know.  Shit happens when you party naked.

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Get ready for an all-star cast to keep coming as the movie goes.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Affleck, John Prine, Walton Goggins, Ritchie Montgomery, ROY D. MERCER (if you pick him out in his short scene, do a double shot, because I KNOW you’re a hillbilly and you can handle it) and several others play these over the top, hilarious characters with such reality that even a true Southerner can’t get mad.

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I think the reason I loved it so much is because I know someone like EVERY SINGLE character.  BBT wrote this in a way that will keep you laughing all the way until the end.  It has more one liners than a Lindsey Lohan “Welcome Home From Rehab” party.

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Why have you never heard of it?  Good question.   Because I hate tabloid bullshit, I will keep it short.  BBT was engaged to be married to Laura Dern.  While she was off making a movie, BBT was doing the same and meets a young Angelina Jolie.  The rest is history.  Anytime you have two stars split before the film premieres, it’s toast.  If not for that, I think this film would have made a splash and now have a cult-like following.

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The scoring is terrific, but with Marty Stuart doing a portion of it, why wouldn’t it be?  The cinematography is also fantastic.  Barry Markowitz also shot Sling Blade and All the Pretty Horses (also directed by BBT) as well as Crazy Heart and The Apostle.

Verdict

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Daddy & Them should have been a hit.  Its one liners should still be used in every bar in the country.  It had all the makings of a hit but it just didn’t work out. Watch this film with your friends and make sure you have plenty to drink!  It has been one of my favorites for years and could make for the best drinking game of all time.  It’s available on Netflix and in every $5 bargain bin in the world.  This is the southern comedy classic that never was.  Maybe we can change that.  *Cheers*

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time someone on screen does.

Take a Drink: every time you hear about Claude fucking Rose by anyone.

Take a Drink: every time Claude and Ruby fight then are immediately calm.

Take a Drink: every time you see an actor you immediately recognize but don’t know their name.

Take a Drink: every time the monkey dances.

Take a Drink: every time the reference of fucking on a car hood is made.

Take a Drink: every time someone says she sure looks English.

Take a Drink: every time Momma talks about one of Ruby’s ex boyfriends.

Take a Drink: every time Billy says something stupid and Ruby thinks he’s smart.

Take a Drink: every time Daddy mentions Rose as Claude’s wife.

Take a Drink: every time Ruby gets mad at Rose.

Take a Drink: every time someone says what Uncle Hazel’s charges are.

Do a Shot: if you recognize Roy D. Mercer.

Do a Shot: every time you notice a John Prine lyric spoken.

Do a Shot: when Andy Griffith says “cornholed”.

About Hank Bagwell

One comment

  1. Didn’t recognize Roy D. Mercer by sight, but when I heard his voice and his schtick I knew it had to be him. Surprised he didn’t receive a credit. And, yes, I took a shot.

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