Film Reviews: “Welcome to the Rileys” (2010)

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Starring James Gandolfini and Kristen Stewart.

Doug and Lois Riley have been married for 30 years, but something is wrong. Lois doesn’t leave the house anymore, and Doug is detached emotionally.
We learn that their 15 year old daughter died in a car accident years prior. Their life now, slowly decaying, is an aftermath and reaction to that event.
Doug travels to New Orleans alone for a business conference. While there, he encounters Allison (Stewart). She is a stripper/prostitute, living alone in a slum, and she happens to be 16 years old. Against common sense, and out of guilt or loneliness, Doug befriends Allison. He takes an extended stay in New Orleans, moves in with Allison and tries to help/guide her. Is this the right thing to do? Does Allison really want this? Things get more complicated when Doug’s wife Lois finally leaves the house and manages to drive herself down to New Orleans.

Wow, this was an emotional film! The performances were fantastic. Lots of great material for these actors to chew on! I can’t believe James Gandolfini didn’t get an Oscar nod for this! The story really pulled at my heart strings. Doug misses his daughter so much, and finds this girl desperately in need, but she is almost too rebellious to accept. It’s sad to see wasted love. I hope haters of “Twilight” don’t plague Kristen’s career because films like this show that she can be a great actress.

3.5 out of 4.0 stars.

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