The Mend | Chicago Reader

The Mend

111 minutes 2014

Sharp dialogue and strong performances tumble around this ill-defined story like shoes in a dryer. After Mat (Josh Lucas) shows up uninvited at a party thrown by his estranged brother, Alan (Stephen Plunkett), the two reenter each others' lives and begin driving each other crazy. Various skeletons threaten to tumble out of the closet regarding their abusive father, but writer-director John Magary, making his feature debut, never defines the conflict between the roaring brothers enough to permit any sort of resolution. Amid all the masculine Sturm und Drang there's a scintillating performance by Lucy Owen as Mat's lover, a divorced mom with a confused and unhappy tweener son; her wisecracking intimacy with the boy produces some of the movie's most genuine moments. With Austin Pendleton.

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