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Home Reviews Cinema reviews Review: Reuniting the Rubins
Review: Reuniting the Rubins Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 20 October 2011 18:40
Reuniting the Rubins review - Timothy Spall
Director: Yoav Factor
Cast: Timothy Spall, Honor Blackman, James Callis, Rhona Mitra
Certificate: 12A

Perhaps the most annoying film since Horrid Henry: The Movie, Reuniting the Rubins is a dull, unfunny mess that simply refuses to end. It follows the attempts of well-intentioned patriarch Lenny (Spall) to reunite his titular family in time for Passover. Because, you know, Jewish families are always funny.

What follows are a series of painful stabs at comedy and dull efforts at drama that come across like a sequel to the very similar (and also rubbish) Robert De Niro film from last year. Remember Everybody's Fine, the film in which everybody said they were fine but secretly weren't fine? This is Everybody’s Fine 2: Everybody’s Really Fine.

Things start off dreadfully, as Timothy Spall heads off on a luxury retirement cruise. In a display of awful acting, he leaves his home, closes the front door and then pointedly opens the door again and looks around the hall, presumably to check nothing has spontaneously shifted shape in the intervening pause. It's baffling how forced Spall feels but before you can work it out, up pops Honor Blackman. She’s even worse.

“Zat izz a horrible zing to zay to your child!” she lisps, all wonky teeth and no laughs. Even Sean Connery could do a better Jewish accent. Interrupting Lenny's voyage with a heart attack, Blackman's mum proceeds to sit in hospital, clasping a book on family reunions and spouting advice every 10 seconds with a sickening, saccharine smile.

You see, The Rubins are a family that haven’t seen each other in many years. They actively refuse to speak to each other - Danny (Callis), the successful businessman with (shock, horror) no time for morals, won't allow more than three Rubins in his house at the same time. Why? Because "Dreadful Things" Will Happen.

Eventually, the family do get together, but nothing dreadful happens. In fact, nothing happens at all. After shaping an entire film around Danny's fateful threats, they could have at least shot each other a couple of times or kicked a cat out of the window. As it is, Reuniting the Rubins has no dramatic tension whatsoever - and, even worse, no laughs to keep things going. It's only 90 minutes long but it feels like two and a half hours.

Worst of all, it’s a shame to see young Theo Stevenson caught up in the mix – after Horrid Henry and this, his career’s off to a bad start, despite delivering the best performance in each ensemble. As for the adult members of the cast, they should all know better.


A limp family drama with virtually no redeeming features at all. Don’t go and see Reuniting the Rubins – if you do, Dreadful Things Will Happen. And by that I mean the film.


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