Duane Hopwood

Rated NR

David Schwimmer stars as an alcoholic whose ex-wife wants to end his visitation rights with his two young daughters. This is a relentlessly downbeat movie, but it’s never downbeat enough. Somehow, Schwimmer fails to evoke any real sympathy, and Janeane Garofalo plays his ex-wife as someone who’s as unlikable as, well, Janeane Garofalo. As light entertainment, though, Duane Hopwood is entertaining from beginning to end, and not a bad way to spend 80 minutes. Still, if you want to see this concept done right, check out Love, Liza, starring the incomparable Philip Seymour Hoffman. That is one painfully sad movie about addiction and loss. Duane Hopwood is kind of the friendly, TV sitcom remake of Love, Liza, taking place in a world where hope is still possible.

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