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Short History of Decay

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A dark comedy about stepping up when your parents are going downhill; a love letter to anyone who's ever been a caregiver for someone who raised them.

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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IE419YU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward L Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 2, 2014
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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Format: Amazon Video
Recently my wife and I watched this movie. We enjoyed it and found it easy to relate to. The characters are well-drawn and the actors never miss a beat. As a slice of life movie, portraying 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 especially endearing. We enjoyed the movie it is one we will probably not watch a second time.
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Format: Amazon 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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By Lost in Vegas on September 16, 2014
Format: Amazon Video
Not much of a plot here, but a wonderful character study of a family (two aging parents and two adult sons) facing the ravages of the parents' old age and the challenges of mid-life manhood. Lead actor Bryan Greenberg, though charming, ventures perilously close to annoying in his portrayal of the condescending son, but his basic good heart keeps him likable. Linda Lavin, as the mother with early Alzheimer's, is a joy to watch, as always.
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Format: Amazon 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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Poignant story about inevitable life changes, including dealing with aging parents who are suffering from serious health problems. It also challenges viewers to consider the choices they've made regarding their careers and lifestyles, suggesting that the superficial rewards are not as fulfilling as we expect them to be. Linda Lavin gives a heartbreaking performance and Kathleen Rose Perkins is a scene stealer. The bold ending doesn't resolve anything, so like the real end of life with it's uncertainties. Michael Maren scores a win with this film.
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