Title: Louder Than Words

Director: Anthony Fabian

Cast: David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton, Xander Berkeley, Craig Bierko, Scott Cohen, Gary Wilmes, Morgan Griffin, Adelaide Kane, Ben Rosenfield, Olivia Steele Falconer

Running time: 93 min, Rated PG-13

Special Features: Trailer and Behind the Scenes Featurette with the cast, filmmakers and the real Fareri family.

Available on DVD 09.09.14

The fictionalized true story of the Fareri Family. Brenda (Hope Davis), her triplets Julie( Morgan Griffin), Michael (Boardwalk Empire’s Ben Rosenfield), and Stephanie (Reign’s Adelaide Kane)  from Brenda’s first marriage, the reclusive husband John (David Duchovny) and their 13 year old daughter Maria (Olivia Steele-Falconer) that John and Brenda had together. On a camping trip, Maria is unknowingly bitten by a bat and later starts to develop an  illness and uncontrollable muscle spasms. The doctors reveal that Maria has rabies and will not survive.  The family prepares themselves for her impending death and try to cope with the aftermath.   Upon reading Maria’s diary, John finds a way to honor his daughter and proposes an idea to the family  that they raise money for a children’s hospital in Maria’s name. The hospital would be state of the art and allow parents and families to be more involved in their children’s care; unlike the one they were subjected to when Maria was in and out of the hospital.

The Good:  It’s a cathartic story that many families can relate to, and will give them strength as they go through similar tragedies and the acting is good by all.

The Bad: The film is about an affluent family. It doesn’t make the situation any less tragic, but the family is rich. They don’t have major hurdles or struggles after the death of their child. Getting donations for this hospital didn’t seem like it took a whole lot of effort. In an almost rip-off of The Lovely Bones, they have the dead daughter be the narrator in the story.  She’s dead, let her be dead. She’s not watching over or aiding them to fulfill their goals and see them through their pain.  Ugh, that’s so cheesy and sickening.

I don’t mean to sound like a hater, but for what reason did the filmmakers think this story had to be made into a film?  This is more like a Lifetime or Hallmark TV movie where they show that it’s okay for rich people to get sad too. David Duchovny says in the featurette that he has about 40 lines in the film and he does get to show off some acting without saying a word. As a whole, the film came off as a force-feeding of feelings that left me indifferent.

Total Rating: C

Reviewed by: JM Willis


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