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IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY

An unfaithful married man is given a hard time not only by his wife, but also by his father (a man coping with the effects of a strike) and his son (a druggy kid struggling to become a top DJ).

CAST: Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Bernadette Peters, Cameron Douglas, Diana Douglas, Rory Culkin, Sarita Choudhury

DIRECTOR: Fred Schepisi

"The film is certainly courageous in the way it deals with Kirk Douglas' stroke, Michael Douglas' infidelity and the drug problems of a son played by Cameron Douglas. Even if the movie doesn't reflect real life, any attentive reader of the supermarket sleaze sheets will guess that it comes close…The movie deals with these touchy subjects, and others, but in a plot so jammed with events, disputes, tragedies and revelations that the most serious matters don't seem to receive enough attention…the movie is simply not clear about where it wants to go and what it wants to do. It is heavy on episode and light on insight, and although it takes courage to bring up touchy topics it would have taken more to treat them frankly." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Fiction and reality are so seamlessly blended in ‘It Runs in the Family,’ a surprisingly complex and subtle portrait of the Grombergs, a high-powered clan of New York lawyers, that the temptation to assume its characters are modeled after the actors playing them is almost irresistible. Four of those actors — Kirk, Michael, Cameron and Diana Douglas — are related by birth or by marriage and play fictionalized versions of themselves in the film…Michael's son Cameron makes a splashy acting debut…Because ‘It Runs in the Family’ is so steeped in Hollywood tradition, you keep expecting the usual feel-good formulas of serious domestic comedy to kick in and hijack the movie by turning it into an innocuous sugarcoated placebo. But, wonder of wonders, it doesn't happen." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"‘It Runs in the Family’ is an exercise in drudgery. The exchanges between Kirk and Michael -- on screen together for the first time, playing father and son -- are natural, and Cameron Douglas, a New York City deejay, doesn't embarrass himself in his screen debut. But the clan was seemingly so eager to finally work together that they settled for a script that manages to be thin and overwrought at the same time…There are two funerals, a sexual indiscretion and a drug bust, but the whole thing is so patently uninteresting it's hard to see it as anything but a Douglas family vanity project." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"‘It Runs in the Family,’ a schmaltzy domestic melodrama, stars the Douglas dynasty, a family that kind of grows on you. Well, at least, you learn to tolerate them…Michael, not at the top of his game here, is upstaged by his 86-year-old dad. The old guy still has a twinkle in his eye, scene-stealing savvy and most of all, the courage to fail. He didn't. The movie failed him." --Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

"Michael and Kirk Douglas have taken more than 20 years to select a script that would enable them to act together on the screen. It was worth the wait… Its emotional tug has been well-earned by the Douglas family…What's key is that each knows he or she has much to be grateful for in life and none indulges in self-pity or buck-passin…Having found a script they liked, the Douglases then selected a strong, talented director in Fred Schepisi. He not only inspired the cast to give well-shaded, reflective portrayals but also made the film a work of honest, heartfelt sentiment." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"In an obvious attempt to go for their own ‘On Golden Pond,’ three generations of the Kirk Douglas family strain against mawkish material about a dysfunctional family that ties up all its loose ends in 109 cringe-worthy minutes…The family's all here and surely, with all their accumulated years of wisdom, they should have been able to distinguish a cloying script when one fell into their hands. Nevertheless, they plowed ahead, spewing sentimental slop and obvious jokes every which way…As usual, Rory Culkin demonstrates that he's the pride of the Culkin clan. And, in his film debut, Cameron Douglas displays an easy charm and physical grace that make him someone to watch." -- Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"You get the feeling that ‘It Runs in the Family’ needed a traffic cop more than a director. You get whiplash trying to keep track of all the Grombergs' tics and traumas. Still, give credit to director Fred Schepisi and producer Michael Douglas for applying pungent spices to what could have been bland, sweet mush…Kirk Douglas, despite slurred speech and stooped posture, remains the most magnetic guy in whatever room he's in." --Gene Seymour, Newsday

"…a funny, articulate, imperfect, sometimes messy, often infuriatingly sentimental, but always caring and spirited movie…Kirk Douglas still leads with a force and a fury as thrilling as it is convincing. His family reunion is one occasion that I sometimes found myself wanting to escape—but in the long haul, I was happy to be invited." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer