Dysfunctional uncles in cinema
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"Smart People"( Photo by Bruce Birmelin, Miramax Films )
By Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
What is it with uncles and sketchy vans? Not to mention bad mustaches, questionable careers and lousy wardrobe choices?
Sure, some uncles are as reliable as a sunrise.
But in the movies, more often than not, they're the creepy family freeloaders, ill-equipped for life. Not only is mom or dad's brother not the go-to guy, the resident uncle is usually best avoided, particularly by impressionable little ones.
The latest expert turn in the cinematic canon of bad uncles belongs to Thomas Haden Church left, who costars as Dennis Quaids underachieving bro and Ellen Page's uncle in "Smart People" (opening Friday). The torpid "Wings" star not only joins a long line of uncle ne'er-do-wells, he practically makes all those other actors who have gone before him cry... "Uncle."
There, we said it.