Unstrung Heroes - * * *

Warm and fuzzy comedy-drama about a young boy who runs away from home, unable to cope with his dying mother, to live with his two very eccentric uncles, Michael Richards and Maury Chaykin. Richards is the insane paranoid, and Chaykin is the packrat who collects worthless trash. Andie MacDowell is the boy’s cancer-stricken mother, and is appropriately angelic in the role. John Turturro plays the boy’s inventor father, frustrated that there is something wrong with his wife that can’t be fixed. The film loses a little focus as it alternates from being a coming-of-age story to a tearjerker to a comedic family portrait, but good perfomances all around keep it from totally losing cohesiveness. The overall message seems to be a common one: the crazy are wiser than the sane.

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