Redford sort of comes up with a new genre in Quality Time, the suburban amusement. It’s innocuous but realistic, with Jason Patric trying to get his kids to the school bus early.
Patric is the essential element as he’s able to bring the reality the film needs, whether it’s begging one daughter to hurry up in the bathroom, swearing as he searches for his keys (waking his sleeping wife) or yelling at another driver. Quality Time feels miserably real.
It all holds up until the last moment, when—even if it’s an amusing moment—Redford lets the film become a bad car commercial. He ends it on a predictable joke and kills the momentum.
Otherwise, Redford’s writing and direction are both strong. He’s got a good ear for dialogue and he has some great shots.
Quality Time was never going to be profound, but it shouldn’t have been cheap either.
Written and directed by James Redford; director of photography, John Kiffmeyer; edited by Stan Webb; music by Ken Cook; produced by Redford and Doug Nichol.
Starring Jason Patric (Dad), Lena Redford (Haley), Matthew Jackett (Evan) and Sacha Karnofsky (Sophie).