"Unconvincing and Unacceptable"
BOUNDARIES is a comedy-drama about a divorced woman and her teenage son who are forced to reunite with her estranged father to drive him to a new living situation three states away after he’s kicked out of his nursing home.
Laura Jaconi has been seeing a therapist for a while because of how dysfunctional her life has become. She refuses to have contact with her father, her husband abandoned her, and her son, and she’s working for her snobby, rich “best friend.” She has a habit of taking in stray animals and has now come into the possession of almost 10 pets, each with their own special needs. After her son is kicked out of his school for drawing explicitly nude drawings of his teachers, she has to come up with huge sum of money to put him in an art school. Even though the last thing she wants to do is call her father, that appears to be her only option left. However, he informs her he’s being kicked out of his nursing home and needs a place to stay. Because he was never there for her growing up, Laura’s reluctant to do anything for him and hangs up on him.
However, the next morning, she finds herself at his nursing home just in time to pick him up. Now, Laura and her son are forced into the responsibility of driving her father, and his classic car, thousands of miles away to Los Angeles, where he will now be living with her sister.
Complicating matters for Laura is that her father, Jack, a former drug dealer, has made his own plans along the way. So, before they leave the nursing home, Jack shows Laura’s son, Henry, his massive garden full of marijuana plants he’s planning to sell on the road trip. Jack makes Henry promise not to tell his mother, with the promise that Henry can be his drug dealing partner and make some extra cash himself along the way. Henry hasn’t had a male role model in his life in years. He agrees to the proposition, with the hope of bonding with his grandfather.
Laura, Jack and Henry encounter many adventures along the trip, including multiple drug deals, reuniting with old drug dealer partners, almost being robbed at gunpoint, and an unwilling visit to Laura’s ex-husband in San Francisco. Just when Laura’s beginning to believe she and her father can have a legitimately loving relationship, she discovers the truth about what he’s been doing the entire time. Laura comes to the conclusion that he will never change and decides to no longer invest into their relationship because it only has resulted in disappointment.
After receiving some comforting words from her sister, Laura has to make a decision in her heart. She must decide whether to let the pain prevail or learn to forgive the people who hurt her.
BOUNDARIES is a movie portraying the complications in family relationships. Although the actors portraying these characters are not short of experience, some parts of the script aren’t completely convincing. Also, they are delivered in a way that causes viewers to be removed from the story’s more emotional aspects. That said, the movie does contain many ways for viewers to relate with the different family dynamics portrayed in this story. In fact, there are many sweet moments within the movie’s onscreen dysfunctional family dynamics.
BOUNDARIES is dominated by a strong Romantic worldview, where the characters follow their own hearts and selfish desires, rather than do what’s morally right. The family is constantly lying to each other for their own personal gain. They would rather put someone else in pain, rather than sacrifice a part of themselves. There is a small Christian, moral element about forgiveness toward the end. However, BOUNDARIES has a high degree of questionable content, including over 70 curse words, the selling and usage of drugs throughout the entire movie, and some sexual content. Besides the very graphic drawings that Henry does of people, there are a few examples of fornication and adultery. All these negative elements in BOUNDARIES make it excessive and unacceptable.
BOUNDARIES follows Laura Jaconi as she raises her son alone after her husband left them. Laura has a soft heart for stray animals and has an overwhelming number of pets. Of course, this prevents Laura from finding any prospective romantic interests. As she tries to get her life together with her therapist’s help, Laura is thrown the responsibility of driving her estranged father three states away after he’s kicked out of his nursing home. Along the way, she’s revisited by ghosts from her past and must decide whether to continue resenting these things or learn to forgive.
BOUNDARIES has a strong Romantic worldview, with very subtle Christian, moral elements, like a theme of forgiveness. However, it contains a high degree of questionable content, including at least 90 obscenities and profanities, the promotion and sale of drugs, and a couple bedroom encounters. Although the script is very personal to the Writer/Director, the dialogue sometimes feels a bit unnatural, and the performances are not totally captivating. BOUNDARIES has some sweet family moments. However, all the negative elements in BOUNDARIES make it excessive and unacceptable.