Movies about grievous family loss are practically a genre unto themselves, with “Ordinary People,” for better or worse, leading the pack. Writer-director Shana Feste’s “The Greatest,” which at times tries for the same effects as that film, is not a sterling example of how to make a high-toned weepie, let alone a serious examination of trauma.
Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan play the parents of a stellar high school kid (Aaron Johnson) who dies in an auto accident at the beginning of the film. His girlfriend, played by Carey Mulligan, survived the accident and, as it turns out, is pregnant by him. Without money, or apparently any other means of support, she ends up boarding with her deceased boyfriend’s fractious family. Overwrought in all the wrong ways, “The Greatest” doesn’t do its normally excellent cast any favors. Grade: C- (Rated R for language, some sexual content, and drug use.)
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