Laborious. Talented Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin cannot salvage this poorly written, tremendously tedious tale of star- crossed lovers, “Adele” and “Frank”, bonding over a sweltering Labor Day weekend in 1987; narrated by Adele’s adult son “Henry” (Tobey Maguire), (child, Gattlin Griffith) approximately twelve years old, at the time.
Adele, a depressed, barely functioning agoraphobic, with formidable trepidation, takes Henry shopping; they are waylaid by handsome, bleeding escaped murderer, Frank; as the saccharine scenario unfolds, Frank bakes his way into their affections; becomes the father Henry craves; pivotally, along with their wrecked lives, he salvages, cures what ails hearth and heart, miraculous feat in three days; blessedly it did not transpire over the Christmas holiday.
Interspersed with flashbacks of Frank’s past that led to his incarceration, and Adele’s woeful angst against life’s vicissitudes, the film flounders precipitously. Henry, his blossoming adolescence, lend a modicum of credence to the depthless theme; flames of Adele’s passionate awakening ignite his own pubescent premonitions.
Director Jason Reitman’s (“Juno”) “Labor Day” fails to engage the imagination or curiosity; benign characterizations leave one longing for the cool, caressing days of autumn.