The centrepiece of this set is a couch for three, besieged by a father and his three adult sons. I honestly couldn’t see four grown men wanting to all squeeze in there together. That piece of direction may have stemmed from a desire to treat each bloke equally, but it seemed unrealistic to me.
And equality is difficult both in a cast including Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name & The Social Network) and Josh Charles (The Good Wife) and in the story where the eldest son (Paul Schneider) seems to be the under-achiever.
There is something disturbing about 40 year old blokes (read ‘failure to mature’) who still roughhouse one another (as in The Footy Show) but it makes for a comic first half. Hammer and Charles were very good.
The second half turns to introspection and comment on the eldest son’s apparent life failure and possible depression. The play takes on a whole different tone which, for me, is too great a contrast to expect of these blokes.
As a fan of both Cooper and Hammer, of course I loved their performances.