Directed by Bob Saget, Benjamin is a dysfunctional family comedy that does its best to tackle the subject of drug addictions.
If you’re looking to pay tribute to the late Bob Saget, there are probably better films or TV series to watch. Full House, The Aristocrats, you name it. However, I saw the comedian directed a film a few years ago so I had to watch. It’s not a bad film at all. If you’re going into it thinking it’ll be similar to Full House, well, you’re in for some news. This is not a film for young children. Not at all! As of Bob Saget’s death, the film is currently available through The Roku Channel.
The gist of the film is that the family gathers around because they believe that Ed’s (Bob Saget) son, the titular Benjamin (Max Burkholder), is a drug addict. They were all invited over Facebook but as we get to know them, it’s clear that maybe he isn’t the problem and there’s something else going on. But in the meantime, everyone has their own problems.
Drug addiction is a serious problem and parents are always going to do what is best for their children. In Ed’s case, he probably went about it the wrong way. Hell, he gets a panic attack when the pizza guy arrives because he thought it was his wife, who didn’t even bother showing up! But anyway, this is not a satirical film. A dark comedy, certainly. PSA? Oh, you bet.
“This film tackles serious subject matter–our kids and the temptations and challenges they face–but tells it through the lens of a familiar cast of comedic actors who make the topic approachable and poignant,” Saget said about the film in a press release.
Saget has previously described his character as being similar to Danny Tanner. If Danny had lost it, of course. I can definitely see the comparison. It’s not unfair if you ask me. When you grow up watching Bob Saget on Full House, it’s weird seeing his R-rated performances.
Joshua Turek’s script also handles it in a way that we don’t see in either Beautiful Boy or Ben is Back. Interestingly enough, all three films premiered during a 2018 film festival. However, it would take until the next year to get a distributor.
Benjamin might play towards the raunchy side but never crosses the line when it comes to the subject matter.
DIRECTOR: Bob Saget
SCREENWRITER: Joshua Turek
CAST: Bob Saget, Rob Corddry, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Cheri Oteri, Peri Gilpin, Max Burkholder, Clara Mamet, David Hull, Jonny Weston, James Preston Rogers, Lyriq Bent, with Dave Foley and Kevin Pollak
Redbox released Benjamin on April 23, 2019.
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