Son in Law Review

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Rebecca returns home to South Dakota after her first semester at college in LA. She's brought back new ideas, a new look and a new boyfriend, Crawl. Crawl, is unlike anyone back home has ever met, although they hate him at first, his madcap antics eventually start winning him friends.


When Rebecca Warner (Gugino) comes home to her family's South Dakota farm after her first semester at college in Los Angeles, she has a tattoo, a new haircut, and a different wardrobe. She is also dragging along Crawl (Shore), the student advisor who has helped her come out of her Midwestern shell, and whose wild and crazy comedy suggests severe schizophrenia. He upsets everyone from Rebecca's would-be fiancé Travis, through her grotesquely hideous little brother, to her appalled parents, but eventually worms his way into their hearts by falling face-first into cowshit and introducing whitebread rap to the local square dance.

As a vehicle for Shore, who was the sidekick loon in California Man and is reputedly Very Big in the US, this is less painful than it might have been, if only because its disposability helps it self-destruct in the memory within moments of the final credits. Otherwise, it's the sort of half-hearted, half-witted, export-resistant American non-entity that fills out the "comedy" section of your local video emporium. No one in recorded history has laughed more than three times during one of these suckers, and Son In Law isn't about to change that.

There is the barest trace of a story premise in Rebecca's first-reel experience of college life, though we see more roller-blading and shopping for clothes than anything that might be called study (she holds a book in one scene — that's it). Then it's off to the farm for various decent character actors to grit their teeth and wait for their paycheque as Shore makes fools of them.

Terrible, but not worth getting worked up about.