Coming to theaters from Screen Media Films and writer/director Mark Kemble is the story of struggle, devotion and love all wrapped up in “Bad Hurt.”
The Kendall’s are living an extraordinarily difficult life. Mom Elaine (Karen Allen) begins and ends her days looking after daughter with special needs DeeDee (Iris Gilad) and war-torn son Kent (Johnny Whitworth) who suffers from PTSD. Dad Ed (Michael Harney) is completely overwhelmed by it all and tries to find solace in a shed in the backyard.
That leaves Todd (Theo Rossi) a special needs bus driver and part time reserve policeman who is trying his best to be all things to all people. That is until Jessie (Ashley Williams) catches his eye. Even when a moment comes for him to reach out to Jessie, Kent is on the street and it’s Todd to the rescue.
Elaine and Ed can not find a resolution when DeeDee becomes more difficult to manage. She lashes out continually and the strain begins to show on the family. When the family is down as far as a family can possibly go, a secret is revealed and one last tragedy is more than any family should have to take.
What should break them apart only brings them closer together.
Rossi as Todd is such a rock for this family. Standing up for a brother who definitely has a problem and a sister who is unable to fend for herself, Todd doesn’t have a moment to find his own personal life. As family secrets pour out, Todd tries to put everything into place, even if it doesn’t want to fit just right. The family dynamic is such that this character doesn’t want to place blame but instead try to find a healing point that they can all grab onto. When Rossi tears up, the world stops for a moment because every once of pain is there. That, folks, makes every moment of this characters pain believable.
Allen as Elaine is a mother who carries the weight of the entire world on her shoulders. Spending her days caring for two adult children who can not care for themselves, she becomes lost in that world of pain. Even her characters ability to reach out is past heartbreaking as it seems Elaine wants answers where there may not be any, or at least any she would be willing to accept. Allen is superb!
Harney as Ed is a man who seems to have checked out in many ways. Harney was made for this role with his ability to show so much in the things he doesn’t say. His expressions say it all with family disappointment and feeling as if he has no control over his life or what happens to his family. The disconnect is palpable and it is truly because of Harney’s performance. The scene between Rossi and Harney on the sports field is remarkable.
Gilad as DeeDee is a special needs character who is in love with Willy. The problem isn’t so much with DeeDee as it is the people outside her family. Gilad gives this role the soul it needs to reach the audience. Dutton as Willy loves DeeDee just as much and can not live without her.
Williams as Jessie sees Todd’s family at their worse and it’s clear that her life is only a few struggles away from the Kendall’s situation. Whitworth as Kent has a secret that he knows will destroy his father’s opinion of him. Kent’s parents can not understand why they are not receiving more help from the military and Whitworth character self destruct mode is in full effect.
Other cast include: Cezar Williams as Mr. Peck, Gia Longo as Annie, Calvin Dutton as Willy Crum, Charles Socarides as Cisco, Charles Techman as Ray, Sebastian Tillinger as Mr. Jenkins, Joana Sanchez as Ms. Bing, Barry Primus as Marty, and Dorothy Lyman as Mrs. Salisbury.
Screen media Films is a leading global independent motion picture distribution company bringing international theatrical, home video, television, cable and new media to its large independently owned motion picture library. The company has released more than 80 titles including “Noel” with Susan Sarandon, “Loverboy”with Kevin Bacon, “One Last Dance” with Patrick Swayze; “Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber” with Jennifer Love Hewitt and “Chilly Dogs” with Leslie Nielsen. For more of what Screen Media Films has to offer please visit www.screenmediafilms.net.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Bad Hurt” four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is such a heart breaking film to watch seeing this family try to keep their sanity in the midst of chaos. That being said, the cast brings every emotion one could imagine having in a family and wrings my heart with it. The struggles are as real as it gets yet the Kendall’s comes out the other side more aware, more forgiving and ready to pick up the pieces and make things right in their world. Something we all should remember when times in our own families becomes chaotic.
Theo Rossi, coming off an amazing seven year run with the FX hit “Sons of Anarchy,” is also one of the films producers making a name for himself in bringing this film to the screen. Returning to his native Staten Island, he says of the film “it was the exact story I was looking for. I think it’s such a fascinating look at the complex family dynamic happening behind so many doors in America.” The story itself comes from writer/director Kemble describing it as his family over a twenty-year period into one week.
“Bad Hurt” is the Official Selection for the Tribeca Film Festival, Berkshire International Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival and the Petaluma Film Festival.
In the end — this family knows how to handle life and the bad hurt