Dana B.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Frank and Cindy
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Really great subjective documentary of dysfunction in the film-maker's family. For a "college" project, there is a lot of honest documentary here from someone embedded in this dysfunctional family -- and G.J. does a very good job of not leaning too much in sympathy with either his mother Cindy, or his step-father Frank. It's a sad, sad story -- but it is real. For more comments, see my review of his dramatization in 2015 "Frank & Cindy".

Frank and Cindy
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I saw the original "Frank & Cindy" first -- it is a documentary shot by G.J. and is almost exclusively of/about his mother (Cindy) and his step-father (Frank). It's difficult to watch for someone (me) who grew up with alcoholic parents. But it also feels very real and honest -- I did not feel that G.J. bumped up the drama at all. He is the silent 3rd-party in the film -- you almost never see him, but he is the one filming and these two people obviously impacted his life. So when I saw that he had produced a dramatized version I was interested. But I have to say that despite some great acting by Renee Russo, this film lacks a lot of the honest portrayal of addiction and dysfunction of the original. And it is obviously primarily about G.J. -- and we have other characters thrown in who had no part in the original -- G.J.'s father and a girlfriend. At times it feels almost like a pastiche of his real mother and step-father -- the dysfunction being portrayed as comical. Even though a lot of the scenes with Frank & Cindy are word-for-word from the original documentary. So -- I have to say that I preferred the original film. But I have to hand it to Renee Russo -- she not only changed her appearance to look incredibly like G.J.'s real mother Cindy, but she did fantastic at not only looking, sounding and acting like the real Cindy, but it feels totally natural. Comparing her performance to the real Cindy, Renee does a fantastic job. So -- three stars for the film, but five stars for Renee.