Something is wrong at the Riley's. Married for nearly 30 years, Doug and Lois have grown distant after losing their daughter eight years ago. Lois refuses to leave the house while Doug tries to stay away, finding their home depressing. Looking to get away, Doug goes on a business trip to New Orleans. There he meets Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a desperate teenage runaway. Despite her unsettling demeanour he realizes she is in desperate need of paternal guidance, something long missing from his life. The opportunity to care and protect brings new meaning to Doug's empty life. He decides to take a drastic step, sells his business and stays in New Orleans to give Mallory the help she needs. But will Doug really be able to leave his old life behind and find fulfilment in New Orleans?
Moving and thoughtful
- Welcome To The Rileys review by NG
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You rated this film: 4
I had no memory of ordering this film or what drew me to it, but it unfolds to reveal beauty and pain that loss can bring. What losing a child can do to the core of a human being and what the unexpected sudden light of others can do to heal the pain. An unassuming powerful movie that is unusual to see front he commercial world of Hollywood.
Starring Twilight heroine Kristen Stewart Welcome to the Rileys is a drama about an unhappily married man who seeks solace in the company of a young woman whilst away from home on a business trip.
Doug Riley (James Gandolfini) feels trapped in his almost thirty year marriage and feels it’s the final straw when his wife Lois (Melissa Leo), who hasn’t left the house in years, orders them a joint gravestone. He sparks up an affair with a waitress with whom he actually seems quite happy, but is unable to leave his wife as he seems implicitly to believe she wouldn’t be able to survive without him since their daughter was tragically killed in a car accident at 15, Thus Doug uses a plumbing convention business trip to take an extended leave of absence from his life and spend some time with a wayward young woman, Alison, whom he has developed a strange relationship with.
The relationship between Alison and Doug is a little reminiscent of Pretty Woman and that makes me a little uncomfortable at first, yet the story mercifully avoids most of the clichés of similar narratives and Doug sees Alison as a surrogate child, whom he cares for so deeply he chooses to sell his business in Indianapolis and relocate permanently to New Orleans.
When he informs his wife she surprises both her husband and the audience by mustering the courage to leave her home and drive to New Orleans to be with her husband. Upon her arrival you expect to see dramatic sparks fly when she learns of Doug’s new, strange relationship with the 16 year old prostitute, instead she behaves in an honest, moving and mature fashion, allowing her own misplaced motherly instincts to help the young runaway.
Despite the title sounding like a terrible rip off of a popular comedy franchise Welcome to the Rileys is in fact an interesting and often quite moving investigation into the complexities of relationships.