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Harvest (DVD Review)

22 May, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Prebook 5/24/11; Street 6/21/11
Box office $0.02 million
$26.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for language and a brief sexual reference.
Stars Robert Loggia, Jack T. Carpenter, Arye Gross, Victoria Clark, Barbara Barrie.

Families are fickle. They bicker; they bond; they wear on each other’s nerves. They’re perfectly imperfect. And Harvest is a convincing look at this very real family dynamic.

Spry patriarch Siv (Robert Loggia) is battling pancreatic cancer, but his condition doesn’t jibe with his appearance. The World War II veteran still cracks jokes with the best of them and enjoys a brisk joyride through town on his yellow bicycle. In fact, it’s Siv’s children who appear to be the ones falling apart.

Benny (Arye Gross), an aging bachelor still living at home, and his local politician brother, Carmine (Peter Friedman), despise each other and bicker about their ailing father’s will. Anna (Victoria Clark), a divorcee, struggles to keep it together. When her son, Josh (Jack T. Carpenter), returns to Connecticut for a quick visit, he is thrown into this web of disarray. Josh acts as the intermediary between his uncles and mom, bearing a responsibility he didn’t sign up for; however, he realizes it’s one he must take since Siv’s time is limited.

Matriarch Yetta (Barbara Barrie) suffers from dementia, making her a vacant shell of the woman she once was. What’s remarkable is that Siv’s love and adoration for her are unwavering, and that sentiment is shared among viewers who are drawn to Siv, the glue holding everyone together.

We know what Siv’s outcome will be, so we hurry to get to know him. Loggia brings plenty of spunk to his role, as Siv is presented as a vibrant grandpa, regaling Josh with stories of his younger days and offering relationship advice.

The extras include brief, insightful interviews with director-writer-producer Marc Meyers, Carpenter and Gross. However, an interview with the scene-stealing Loggia, who makes Harvest so great, would have been a welcomed addition.

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