Sarasota Film Festival: Diminished Capacity

Diminished Capacity is about a guy suffering memory problems (Matthew Broderick) who comes home to care for his uncle (Alan Alda) as he copes with Alzheimer's. It's... a comedy.

Broderick's character meets up with an old flame (Virginia Madsen) who has a son and is recently divorced. Together the group sets out from their small hometown to Chicago to sell a rare baseball card so Alda's character can live and decline peacefully at home. The film has a very familiar Little Miss Sunshine feel to it, but the humor is much more subtle.

Midwest culture (oxymoron?), memory issues and familial dysfunction are all comedic fare here. Also fish poetry, yes fish poetry. Baseball is the largest topic, and after a while it feels like a bit much but the plot relies on a baseball card so it's inevitable. Alda's character is sympathetic as he struggles to deal with his memory loss and maintain his role as a loving fatherly figure for his family, and this is really the highlight of the film. It doesn't hurt that the soundtrack is laden with Tin Hat Trio's music as well.

Overall it's a great bit of dark humor. If you liked Little Miss Sunshine or you are a fan of, say, Prairie Home Companion or the Chicago Cubs I'd recommend it. If I were to guess it would most likely fit in around the fall's film releases, probably near Thanksgiving.