Domestic Disturbance (2001)

DailyView: Day 70, Movie 121

The DailyView movie for the day is an older John Travolta movie called Domestic Disturbance that also featured Vince Vaughn in the villain role.

John Travolta played Frank Morrison, a shipbuilder, whose ex-wife Susan (Teri Polo) was getting married to a new man named Rick (Vince Vaughn) and Frank and Susan’s son Danny (Matt O’Leary) was acting out because of it. Danny had a history of bad behavior and lying when things were bothering him, so it seemed to be nothing new. However, when Danny told his father that Rick had murdered a man (Steve Buscemi), the young boy’s word comes into question.

The movie is okay. There is nothing terribly bad about it. Travolta and Vaughn do a decent job in their roles and Matt O’Leary is solid as the young boy. Issues with the movie fall into characterizations and specifics.

Vince Vaughn goes from good and decent man trying to get Danny’s approval into dirtbag murderer really quickly, and the movie does not go into much specifics about why he was the way he was. It really was jarring to go from fishing on a boat with Frank and Danny to burning the dead body of an old associate and threatening Danny with violence. Because of the rapid quick change, it hurts the overall narrative of the movie. The trope of adults not believing a child is here too, which, at first, I thought Frank was going to break. It seemed as if Travolta was going to believe Danny, but he lashed out at the boy verbally at a point showing us that he did not believe him. That was a disappointing moment of the movie.

The film implies that Frank and Susan’s marriage fell apart because of Frank’s drinking and we see one scene where Frank drinks some, but there is little else spelled out.

There are plenty of scenes that are rushed through too. The entire custody section of the film takes all of three scenes to deal with and feels as if it were tacked on for the movie to get to the conclusion.

It is amazing how Rick has been able to get by this long since he reacts in violent manners so quickly. None of the characters of the movie really feel consistent, with the exception of Danny.

This movie feels like one that could have used another trip through the editing process and a recontextualizing of how these characters are meant to be portrayed. It is not the worst movie and the actors are fine, but the the film’s overall quality is not to the point it could have been.

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