Ryan Reynolds puts away his superhero spandex and exchanges them for Serious Guy beard and glasses in Fireflies in the Garden, a film that sees Green Lantern attempting to make up for all his popcorn movies by cramming a career's worth of family melodrama into 98 minutes.
Reynolds stars as a man who, after years of childhood torment from father Willem Dafoe, has now written a manuscript about how rotten it was to have the world's creepiest looking dad. Adding to that drama, R.R.'s mom--as played by Julia Roberts with some scant grey streaks in her hair, because then she is old--just died in a car accident that also injured his dad, forcing the whole remaining family, Emily Watson and all, to come together and temporarily put aside their painful memories of Daddy Dafoe throwing bicycles and freaking out about touching his sedan's windows.
The film has already been released in some international markets, and has been sitting on the shelf here since 2008. That typically isn't a good sign for a movie's potential, but you'd hardly know it from Fireflies in the Garden's just-released trailer, which distracts from any blemishes with stacks and stacks of title cards that drift around with such poignant intensity that you'd barely even notice how abruptly the tone shifts to stand-up-and-applaud uplifting if it weren't being broadcast so loudly when that acoustic ballad kicks in. If you find yourself not liking these drifting title cards, don't worry, they get better. And by better, I mean more Papyrus.
If this movie concludes on a cathartic note, it will be such a paradoxically negative ending.
None of these people are equipped to live without personal demons.