Around the Bend

Synopsis: In Los Angeles, Jason Lair is recently separated, living with his grandfather and his son; he's a banker, tense, with a limp. Grandfather Henry, an archaeologist, wants to take the family van on a trip to Albuquerque. His plans are interrupted when Turner, Jason's father and Henry's son, appears after years of absence. Henry wants to celebrate family, as does Zach, Jason's son; Jason is angry and distant, Turner seems detached and says he's got a bus to catch in the morning. This prompts Henry to put in place an elaborate plan that will send his "tribe" on that VW bus trip to New Mexico sorting out relationships and digging up a crippled family history. Dust and dogs figure prominently.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Jordan Roberts
Production: Warner Independent
  4 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min


Henry, it's 1:

I was drumming for an idea.

Yeah. I heard.

Jason, sit down. Sit down.

Listen to this:

"And after an arduous

disembowelment procedure...

...the body was hauled off

to a marshy area...

...placed atop a large pyre, where it was

slowly devoured by vultures and rodents...

...while the tribe looked on and danced."

- A man dies, he's gotta serve his tribe.

- You don't have a tribe, Henry.

Yes, I do.

You're my tribe.

You and the boy. And Sky there.

Aren't you, Sky?

Keep looking for your funeral idea...

...because your tribe is not dancing

while rodents eat you.


- I want us to go on a trip.

- I know you do, Henry.

Yeah. One last dig. We'll fix up the van.

- What? It's a perfectly good...

- It's not perfectly good.

It's a classic.

There's nothing wrong with that van.

- Look, I'll see you in the morning, all right?

- I may not make it to the morning.

Well, wake me up before you kick so I can

tell you what I really think of you.


- Something's different about my nanny.

- She's a nurse.

Well, whatever she is,

she gave me a woody.

Goddamn it.

Well, I guess that's natural.

Well, of course it's natural.

I didn't say an alligator came out of my ass.

Good night, Henry.


How can you watch this?

They relax me.

In Denmark, we didn't have horror.

Henry asked for your father again.

We should find him.

I don't know how to do that.

You see that screaming woman?

She is the mother of that bloody person.

Family is important at death.

- Good night, Katrina.

- Good night.


- Papa Henry's drumming again.

- Come on.

Hey, Dad?

Are we gonna make Papa Henry

into a mummy when he dies?

Did he tell you that?

No, we're not gonna make him

into a mummy, Zach.

Are we gonna stuff him?

- Henry.

- What do you want?

Come out of there.

A priest wore that 1000 years ago.

- Where'd you get it?

- I stole it.

Stole it right out of the goddamn ground.

That's what an archeologist does.

Can we not advocate theft until

he's at least old enough to drive, please?

Nonsense. Some things want to be stolen.

The Lair family have a history

of thievery, Zach.

It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Now, banking,

there's a shameful occupation.

Jason. Can I see you?

What is it?

Your father is downstairs.

He wants to cross threshold.

- What?

- Threshold.

Do you think the drumming

made him come?

- Who?

- Your father.

You're Jason.

Kind of like two dogs, huh?

Excuse me?

I got your letter about Henry.

I sent it four years ago.

You got... letters?

When you were a kid, I wrote.

Sent money too, I think.


Come here, baby. It's cold.

Who are you?


That's how it works, I think.

You're not dead anymore.


What the hell is going on?


Turner is outside.

Goddamn, boy.

You came back. You came back.

Get me dressed.

My family's going out to a fancy place.

Katrina, bring a chair over. Come join us.

This is family time.

You're not eating, Jason.

You know I don't like chicken, Henry.

What about you, Turner?

You wanna eat some bird?


F***ing hell. What in God's name has

happened to the men in this family?

Language, Henry.

My mom's a vegetarian.

- Where is she?

- We're separated...

- They're getting a divorce.

- It's a trial separation.

She's painting in Nipple.

- Nepal, Zach. It's Nepal.

- Nipple is funnier.

- Nipple is funnier.

- Yeah. Yeah.

Where's your wife?

She died.

Long time ago.

- Are you still a criminal?

- Zach.

Henry said he was a criminal.

It's nice having the family

together again, huh?

Nice, happy, normal family.

Hey. Whiskey for everyone.

I like whiskey. Skoal!

- Want a snort, Turner?

- Henry.

- I can't drink it anymore.

- I'll take some.

Jesus. Okay. Soda, water,

I don't give a crap. Let's have a toast.

- To my boys. They came back. Cheers.

- Cheers.


Katrina, come... Take a picture.

Jason, come here. Get close.

- So are you ready?

- We're ready. Smile.

- Is it okay?

- Yeah.

Remember that?

New Mexico.

We're going back. All of us.

We'll take a trip. The family.

- I can't, Henry.

- Of course you can.

We'll fix up the van.

One last dig. All of us.

But I'm catching a bus in the morning.

A bus?

Where to?

You just got back, son. I mean... just got home.

I can't stay, Henry.

You're not ready.

You're still on the stairway.

Zach, I'm serious. Give it to me.

It's bedtime, Zach.

- Are you glad your dad's not dead anymore?

- He never was dead, Zach.

Are you happy to see him?

Sure, I am.


Some of us...

...are more broken than others.

What are you talking about, Henry?

A family carries each other.

I carried you. You carried me.

We have to carry him.

Leave me.

- What just happened?

- I don't know.

Well, what did you and Henry

just talk about?

I told him I had to leave.

Leave when?

In the morning. I'm catching a bus.

It got him upset, I think.

Okay, Jason, I go see him.

Your bed is ready.

You and the boy go to the zoo a lot.

Yeah, we go on Sundays.

- Every Sunday?

- Usually.

What do you do?

- I work at a bank.

- I mean at the zoo.

Can we not do this?

Henry wanted to see you before he died,

but I don't feel like...

...filling in the blank of my life

before your bus.

They're all d*cks. If they stay or go,

if they're mean or nice.

- We're dads. We're d*cks. It's not our fault.

- He's not my father.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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