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WELCOME TO THE RILEYS

WELCOME TO THE RILEYS Kristen Stewart's not exactly playing a hooker with a heart of gold in Jake Scott's underwritten Welcome to the Rileys, but she is playing a hooker, named Mallory, and the movie's got something to do with her heart — though a lot more to do with her bad-girl vibe, and her mouth, and what it looks like when a payload of F-bombs drops out of it. Rileys follows middle-aged schlub Doug Riley (James Gandolfini in dad jeans) from Indianapolis to the Crescent City. Still mourning a teenage daughter lost a few years back, Doug ditches his plumbing convention to hang out with 16-year-old exotic dancer Mallory. Their relationship remains resolutely uncarnal as he fixes her toilet, buys her clean sheets and picks her up from tricks gone bad. There's no mystery to what Doug's doing, and the blunt motivation makes this sad ex-father sympathetic but not particularly interesting. Gandolfini underplays accordingly. Doug's wife, Lois (Melissa Leo), eventually follows her wayward husband south to become Rileys' most compelling character. In the face of her co-stars' opacity, Leo gives a transparent performance. Lois is incapable of hiding her emotions; Leo plays her as someone who's too exhausted even to try. Scott directs unobtrusively and has a nice eye for detail. The son of Ridley and nephew of Tony, he exhibits little of the visual flair of his forebears — THANK GOD — and lets New Orleans speak for itself. (Dan Kois) (Playhouse, Town Center)


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