‘Reverse the Curse’ Review: Is it worth watching?

David Duchovny hit the jackpot with his 2016 novel “Bucky Fucking Dent,” which was a critical darling and seemed like perfect material for a movie adaptation. And who better to helm the project than Duchovny himself as writer, director, and co-star? Or maybe “best available option” is a more accurate description based on the end result of “Reverse the Curse.” Duchovny’s film adaptation of baseball, fatherhood, and mortality is a bit of an oddball. The movie oscillates between the saccharine sincerity of a Hallmark movie and the corny humor of a 1970s sitcom, losing the poignant, uplifting essence of the story in a sea of awkward jokes.

Duchovny takes the lead as Marty Fullilove, a widower from the Tri-State area, who’s facing terminal cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking. His son Ted (played by Logan Marshall-Green), a peanut vendor with dreams of becoming a writer, accidentally learns of Marty’s condition and decides to mend their strained relationship by becoming his caretaker. The two immediately start squabbling over past grievances, but Marty, inspired by his grief counselor Mariana Blades (Stephanie Beatriz), is determined to rewrite his life’s narrative before it’s too late. This sparks an idea in Ted connected to the 1978 Boston Red Sox season. If Marty’s beloved Red Sox can break their curse and triumph over the New York Yankees in the playoffs, maybe Marty will find joy and a reason to keep fighting — even if Ted has to fabricate their victory.

 

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Reverse the Curse review

“Reverse the Curse” sets out to tug at heartstrings, but the notes often fall flat. While the film has moments of endearing interactions between father and son as they navigate forgiveness before Marty’s inevitable farewell, the overall experience feels overly sanitized and superficial. Cinematographer Jeff Powers delivers a visually bland drama, and the production design is depressingly “Suburban Minimal.” Duchovny’s vision lacks emotional depth, pulling back too far to truly resonate.

For romantic baseball fans dealing with stubborn, distant Boomer fathers, feeling nothing from “Reverse the Curse” is a significant red flag.

Logan Marshall-Green portrays a man in his thirties who looks and acts more like he’s in his forties, donning a hippie-dippie facade, much like Stephanie Beatriz in her stereotypical nurse attire. Marty, a constant thorn in Ted’s side, is trying to mend fences built by his years as an emotionally distant “Ad Man.” Marshall-Green’s performance hits its stride when he reacts with high-pitched disbelief to Marty’s unexpected behavior, but too often, their dynamic feels glossy and forced. The tonal shifts are jarring, with a “funny” fart war in a hotel room awkwardly transitioning to a sorrowful scene the next day.

Despite the disappointments, some elements of the ensemble shine. Pamela Adlon stands out as a literary gatekeeper who hilariously critiques Ted as a generic, uninspired author. Duchovny manages to pull off a few genuinely funny moments that balance the grim themes with humor and acceptance (and a good dose of “reefer”). Marty’s barber-shop buddies, though stereotypical, nearly steal the show with their senior-aged antics. There’s a genuine earnestness at the heart of the film that shines through when given the chance.

**Duchovny Makes ‘Reverse the Curse’ Too Predictable**

The main issue is everything else. Duchovny’s adaptation follows a predictable path, feeling like a product of an assembly line. Ted shows up, clashes with Marty, and quickly falls for Mariana. Everyone’s path feels preordained—no surprises here. Marty’s Red Sox obsession lacks thematic weight, with baseball reduced to mere headlines and radio broadcasts. The father-son reconciliation is central, but the lack of depth makes it feel mundane.

Duchovny’s “Reverse the Curse” doesn’t hit it out of the park. It’s a formulaic tearjerker that misses too many opportunities. Duchovny struggles with tonal shifts and grounded performances, leaving the actors playing pretend. While the “Bucky F*cking Dent” anecdote is a hit, the rest of the film feels like a missed swing. “Reverse the Curse” aims for a home run but barely makes it to first base, leaving viewers cold.