Danny Collins

Director: Dan Fogelman
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 1.5

Aging pop star Mr. Collins (Al Pacino), who lives a decadent life (with his cocaine and young girlfriend), receives a gift from his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer): a handwritten letter by John Lennon that makes him reconsider his career decisions (and lack of true artistry) and leads him to dash off to New Jersey to make amends with his very-long-lost son Tom (Bobby Cannavale) and write new material. Pacino adds a good deal of charisma to the lightweight and frankly routine tale - of course Tom would end up having cancer and of course Danny would get caught by Tom doing drugs backstage - and naturally the word "redemption" would be brought up not once but twice by Fogelman. But like all the other "going back home" movies that keep cropping up (about broken adults trying to "mature"), the Collins character is not capable of change: the real winners in this scenario are his granddaughter Hope (Giselle Eisenberg), who gets to go to some progressive charter school and valet Nicky (Josh Peck), who wins a free car (that he can't afford). That stuff about Lennon and being rich and still making important art ... pffft, who cares about artistic integrity when you have your own private jet?