Imaginary Heroes Review

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Suburban housewife Sandy Travis is forced to deal with grief and family revelations after the her son’s suicide, desperate after being pushed too hard by his father to become a swimming champion.


Imaginary Heroes is yet another chronicle of the lives of glum, wealthy US suburbanites who conjure emotional problems to fill the time between frigid family dinners and talk as if somebody nearby might be taking notes.

But where films like American Beauty and The Ice Storm can make such self-obsessors interesting through insight and wit, X-Men 2 scribe Dan Harris’ feature debut too often substitutes dim lighting for depth and cliché for analysis, as his subjects come to terms with the death of a son who topped himself because his dad forced him to become a swimming champion (boo-frickin’-hoo).

The acting is superb and when Weaver and Hirsch, as cynical mother and son, share the screen the family dynamics suddenly become believable, but terrific performance alone can’t mask the lack of originality.

Terrific performances alone can’t mask the lack of originality in this cliched US suburban drama