Written and produced by Paul Reiser, The Thing About My Folks explores a father coming to terms with the mysteries of his "perfectly happy marriage" and his sometimes uneasy relationship with his adult son. The entire routine existence of Sam (Peter Falk), a clueless, rambling senior citizen with a penchant for flatulence, is thrown into a tailspin when Muriel (Olympia Dukakis), his wife of 47 years, suddenly leaves him. He reluctantly enlists his son, Ben (Reiser) to help him find some answers. A spontaneous road trip ensues, and this heartwarming comedy revs into gear as an intergenerational male Thelma & Louise. Instead of taking on the world, however, this renegade father and son journey inward to tackle unresolved resentments and uncover family secrets as they try to right some of the wrongs of their intertwined pasts. Over a casual backdrop of fishing trips, pool and baseball games, eye-opening revelations about men, women, marriage, and family are mined, and everyone learns some lessons. Falk cranks out a touching, hilarious performance while Reiser's razor sharp dialogue and self-effacing wit prove refreshingly poignant. And Dukakis? She effortlessly plays a deadpan spitfire to near perfection.
Raymond De Felitta was born in New York City, grew up in L.A., and then fled the West Coast for New York, where he lives when he's not fleeing back to L.A. trying to get another movie made. He attended Bard College and received an M.F.A. in Directing from the American Film Institute. His AFI thesis short, Bronx Cheers, was nominated for an Academy Award® in 1991 and his screenplay Begin the Beguine won a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting in 1992. His first feature, Cafe Society, starred Peter Gallagher, Frank Whaley and Lara Flynn Boyle. It opened at Cannes, Directors Fortnight, in 1996. A year later, it opened in limited release in New York, where The New York Times called it a "nifty sleeper of a film." His subsequent film, Two Family House, was voted the second-best reviewed film of 2000 by The San Francisco Chronicle.