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Palmer Review: It Is A Genuine Heart-warmer




Starring Justin Timberlake ,Ryder Allen ,Alisha Wainwright , June Squibb ,Juno Temple

Directed  by Fisher Stevens

Rating: *** ½ 

Everything in  Palmer happens according to plan. The well-oiled  supremely confident  screenplay springs no  surprises, offers no new insights  into human relationships. This wonderfully unassuming film offers the comfort of the familiar. Superstar Justin Timberlake makes an impressive comeback  in the title role. 

After 12  years in prison,Palmer comes  home to his kind  grandmother(June  Squibb) who  offers him a home  and a  second chance, and that includes an opportunity to play Daddy to  ayoungalmost-motherless deviant boy Sam, played delightfully  by  Ryder Allen.

Sam has many problems. Not only is  his mother always on the run, Sam likes to play with dolls, dress up as Princess Penelope and sneaks  into Palmer’s grandmother’s makup kit to try on some lipstick. This could  have been every LGBT activist’s worst come nightmare true.A  soppy, patronizing film about a gay boy. Instead  the  director Fisher Stevens turns the potentially  trite screenplay into something precious  valuable and charming.

 Credit for making the central relationship between Palmer and Sam  look convincing goes  to the two actors. They play their  characters as  sexually emotionally diverse human beings ready to give  each a chance, willing to accept one  another as they are.And as the two  characters come close in the screenplay through well-written touching scenes, the  director keeps the proceedings endearingly blithe-spirited. 

There is  no  pontificating on gay right here, just a reluctant surrogate-parent trying to understand where his  new responsibility is coming from.Everything  seems  to  move in this  moving movie  smoothly. You know that the  downslide in the father-son bonding will come. But you  hope it wouldn’t. And when it does, you just want these two social outcasts to be  together again.

 The return of  Sam’s missing drugged-out mother(Juno Temple) signals  some  amount of  awkwardness  in the script. You wish this  grotesque  specimen of  motherhood would disappear  so that the little boy and his new daddy can go back to playing  house. Wish fulfillment at  its most  effervescent , Palmer will steal  your heart. This is  commercial mainstream American cinema  offering every person, no matter how different, a chance to dream, a stab at belonging.

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