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Short History of Decay (2013)

Harris Yulin , Bryan Greenberg , Michael Maren  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Harris Yulin, Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Kathleen Rose Perkins
  • Directors: Michael Maren
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Arc Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2014
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IE419YU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,383 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A FAILED BROOKLYN WRITER VISITS HIS AILING PARENTS IN FLORIDA. HIS MOTHER HAS ALZHEIMERS & HIS FATHER HAS RECENTLY HAD A STROKE.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(16)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
It was probably a decade ago when I saw my grandmother for the last time. I hadn’t seen her for a while because – as most families unfortunately do – she had been shepherd away into one of our homes after developing Alzheimer’s. Sure, I understand that, in some respects, it was for her own safety, but we all know how we secretly feel about that and things like it. Anyway, most of us had had gathered for a funeral (not hers), and she was rolled in via wheelchair and placed in a position of some modest honor. I went over and spoke with her; I’m not quite sure she remembered who I was, but she responded with such warmth and interest in all I had to say that it really didn’t make that much difference. It wasn’t all that much later that she passed, and I guess even today I still wonder about how deeply the ravages of that unkind disease truly changed her outlook.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

Nathan Fisher (played by Bryan Greenberg) is a kinda/sorta failed novelist/playwright who’s going through a bad break-up with his aspiring writer/girlfriend (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Before they can truly work out where they are in their relationship, Fisher is suddenly struck with the news that his father (Harris Yulin) has suffered a stroke. Knowing that his mother (Linda Lavin) is dealing with the onset of Alzheimer’s, the young man realizes he’ll need to relocate back home in order to help the family sort out their own issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slice of Life for Aging Baby Boomers August 29, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
My wife and I enjoyed this movie and found it easy to relate to. The characters are well-drawn and the actors never miss a beat. As a slice of life, adult children struggling to make a good life with aging parents facing end of life issues, this movie hits the mark. That being said, the movie has little to make it interesting in terms of plot and conflict and the protagonist is not particularly endearing. We enjoyed the movie but not one of our forever favorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Family Portrait August 23, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The story of a family in distress might be the sub-title. Nathan Fisher is called by his brother to come to Florida. His father has had a stroke, and their mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Nathan is a 35 year old man struggling with his life. He is a writer but never seems to finish what he starts. He lives with his girlfriend, Erika, who is at the end of her rope with him, and she is moving on. A good time for Nathan to get out and sort things through. So, he goes to Florida and lives off his parents while they are sorting things out.

Linda Lavin plays the mother very convincingly. She forgets easily, but knows who her family is. No one wants to talk about what they should be doing. The father leaves the hospital against advice with no noticeable deficit except he sleeps a lot. What I noticed that astonished me was that this woman with Alzheimer's was allowed to sort her husbands pills for the week. Did she have any idea what she was doing? The older son appears with issues of his own, and here they are all of them with troubles.

This is a moving film, but one without any real convincing conversations. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room, the talk is all done on the outside. These seem like real issues that are not handled, probably a lot like real life. Without Linda Lavin and her husband played by Harris Yulin, this would have been a nothing film. Of note, look at the authors in the coffee shop scene, they are all real authors in life.

Recommended At Times. prisrob 08-23-14
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable August 5, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I enjoyed everything about this film; the actors were all cast in roles that fit them perfectly, in which they did a great job. Yes, it's not a happy happy plot. It's real life to the nth degree. Scriptwriting produced realistic dialog. Sets connected me further to the plight of the characters. Linda Lavin is a gem of an actress.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous little indie August 11, 2014
Format:DVD
This is a two-hanky film. You'll be blubbering at least a little before the end as two sons deal with their aging parents and the issues this causes. Set in Florida (though the sets in no way resemble Sarasota), the tale is at least as much about what the sons go through as what the aging parents feel as they learn of their sons' various failures in life. Neither has a stable relationship or a job. The mother has dementia and the father has had several strokes. You feel one or the other could die at any moment, but the mother still has moments of clarity. So many have gone through the struggles depicted. It will resonate with most audiences. I love little films like this. No violence. No shooting. No car chases. Just humanity. Watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nuanced, subtle, thought provoking (and funny) June 4, 2014
By Shifta
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This film gets better and better on subsequent viewings. I saw it in the theater and loved it. And I watched it again after purchasing it for home. A second viewing revealed details and nuances of a family in transition that had me thinking about it for days. And that's what I want from a movie.
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