A haunting yet darkly funny drama, "Imaginary Heroes" takes a look at the lives of a middle class family who fall into a pit of desperation after one of their sons commits suicide. Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, and Michelle Williams all star in this interesting and offbeat tale.
Easily the best movie I've seen on DVD in the last couple of weeks, "Imaginary Heroes" never received much of a theatrical release despite a moderately-sellable cast. The movie isn't for everyone as it deals with dark and non-1950's things the Parents Television Council wouldn't approve of, but it is smart, edgy and filled with good performances. Weaver and Hirsch both deliver great characters; Weaver, who hasn't been in movies all that much lately, is especially good as the troubled mom who takes to pot smoking and flirting with high school boys. Hirsch has the possibility to make it big at some point, especially if he continues to avoid some of the mainstream teen films that can typecast such a person. Of course, he just starred in the uber-flop "Lords of Dogtown," but that's another story altogether...
It's hard to tell whether this movie was really intended to be a comedy or not, but I'm pretty sure I picked up on underlying humor that not all people will see. The reactions of other students to the kid's suicide are pretty entertaining and sound like something real kids would say by accident.
Regardless, "Imaginary Heroes" is an entertaining and captivating tale of tragedy and awkward love, and it should be rewarded as such. Most people will never see or even hear of "Imaginary Heroes," but if you're browsing the video store, this is definitely a recommended pick.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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