Yes, I’ve finally came around to watching the movie.
Welcome to the Riley’s revolves around who else but the Riley’s. Doug and Lois Riley, played by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo respectively, have a rocky relationship ever since their daughter died in a car accident when she was fifteen years old. That was years ago, and still the two have not moved on past their grief.
On a business trip to New Orleans, Doug meets Mallory in a strip club. Mallory, played by Kristen Stewart (and the reason why I bought the movie in the first place), is a sixteen year old rebel teen with a troubled past. I suppose Doug saw a little bit of his dead daughter in her, because he proposed that if she let him stay with her in her ramshackle house, he’d pay her $100.
Of course, when Doug told his wife that he won’t be coming home any time soon, Lois got suspicious and drove to New Orleans herself. That’s a miracle, since apparently, she has not left the house since her daughter’s death. It was all very emotional when she meets Doug, and it seems their relationship is tentatively being mended.
And it’s all because of a sixteen year old stripper.
Mallory was like the catalyst. Although she did not really push the two together, she made Doug realize that his life was going in the wrong direction. Mallory gave him a purpose, in the sense that she was a girl in need of some fatherly guidance. Plus, he helped fixed her house a bit. As for Lois, Mallory gave her a chance to be a mother again and, I suppose, to get some sort of closer. Mallory’s mother died in a car accident, too.
The beginning of the movie was very boring for me, seeing as I can’t really relate to the emptiness a parent might feel when grieving their only child. However, as the storyline picked up, I found myself liking the movie. The ending was not how I expected it, that’s for sure.
I mean, reading Welcome to the Riley’s made me think that perhaps Doug and Lois might adopt Mallory. But like she aptly said, “I’m nobody’s little girl.” It was too late for her to be treated and loved like a child again, and it was too late for anyone to be her parents. So, Doug and Lois let her be. They moved back to where they came from and allowed Mallory to live on her own just as she pleased. They treated her like an adult. Certainly, that wasn’t the way I thought the movie was going to go, and I admired it more because of that.
What can I say, I like it when I’m proven wrong — plot-wise, anyway. ^_^
Highlights of the movie (for me, at least):
- Mallory’s boy jeans and her huge hoodies.
- When Doug threatened to fine Mallory a dollar for saying expletives (one in particular, but I’m not saying it ;D).
- When Doug commented on how beautiful Lois was under the daylight. It proved to me that the two really were in love.
- Kristen Stewart’s acting. I’ve got to admit, some parts you can tell that she could to better, but overall it was fine. She ought to lengthen her pronunciation of words so that it won’t sound like she’s muttering half the time.
Lowlights of the movie — because I don’t know what the opposite of ‘highlights’ is:
- Kristen’s hair. It’s messy and stringy and it looks dirty. It might be part of her role, but at least comb it every once in a while. *shudder*
- When Mallory wasn’t adopted. I know, I know! I said I admire that plot move, but I can’t help it. I wanted a nice, happy family for them. I guess it’s just the sappy side of me.
Wanna watch the trailer? Look down.