Leonardo DiCaprio (TITANIC, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) drives an electrifying performance as the criminally rebellious son in this funny and stirring tale of one family's humor and heartache. Seventeen years ago, fiercely independent Lee (Meryl Streep -- ADAPTATION) left home ... and left behind her kindhearted sister Bessie (Diane Keaton -- THE FIRST WIVES CLUB) to care for their father, Marvin (Hume Cronyn). But now Lee is returning with her teenage son (DiCaprio), for a homecoming that's sure to turn the entire household upside down! Also starring Robert DeNiro (CASINO), this entertaining motion picture proves that people you know the least may be the ones you need the most!
Scott McPherson's off-Broadway hit made a strong transition to the screen in this 1996 film by director Jerry Zaks. Diane Keaton stars as a woman who, while taking care of her vegetating father in Florida, discovers that she has leukemia. Only her long-estranged sister (Meryl Streep) or the sister's children can provide a possible match for a bone-marrow transplant. But the reunion is a rocky one, marked both by Streep's guilt at having abandoned her sister to take care of their father, and by the explosive dynamic between Streep and her rebellious, pyromaniac oldest son (Leonardo DiCaprio). As grim as this all sounds, there is a strong vein of black humor running through it that has the viewer laughing at unlikely moments (particularly Keaton's visits to her distracted doctor, a surprisingly funny Robert De Niro). But rest assured: tears will flow, even as the film makes you reassess all of your own family relationships. --Marshall Fine