A low-key family drama, wrapped around seemingly familiar bunch of subplots. In the center of it a portrait of a tired and warn-off hippie generation "eaten by their revolution", running from normal life to stay normal. Warm and honest performances by all the actors involved and Lumet's subtle directing carry the movie throughout.
Cinematography by Gerry Fisher. "Desire" list: The sudden death of River Phoenix, to me, was of the level of James Dean's, with the difference that i'm close to River in a way that will never be to Dean. With a face of an impeccable beauty and a premature strong density of an actor, his figure was larger that its simple figuration. In this film Phoenix achieves a rare and endless aurea. And a supreme beauty.
Another film about family and its impact on our lives. One year later, Sidney Lumet will handle the same theme, in a much lighter manner, in Family Business. But stay with Running On Empty which is afer all one of the best Sidney Lumet movies of the 80's. Highly recommended.
such a conservative picture – being liberal catches up with you, it makes you want to be normal, hell, it even makes your teenage kid angsty. i don't think this film delves deeply enough into either what it means to live with radical values in this country or the typical notion of what constitutes a 'normal' all-american family.