Running on Empty ★★★½

For a director like Lumet, whose work is typically gritty and challenging, there's also a pedestrian TV-movie quality to Running on Empty that reinforces the weaknesses in the too-safe script. I didn't feel like Running on Empty gave me any insight into its unusual scenario, but rather used it as a mcguffin for a sensitive but fairly bland and typical coming-of-age story. Maybe I just expected something more challenging and nuanced, like Lukas Moodyson's Together (2000), which took a biting look at ideological communal living, but Running on Empty is, at heart, another good-times scene of baby boomers dancing in a kitchen to music from the hippie-era.

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