Sigourney Weaver is a luminous actress with a tough core of intelligence and wit. And Emile Hirsch, who plays her guilt-tormented son, has the talent to sustain a major career. Their scenes together have a warmth that almost makes you forgive Imaginary Heroes, written by first-time director Dan Harris, for trying so hard and so futilely to duplicate Ordinary People.
Does this sound familiar? Matt (Kip Pardue) is the of his swim team and his family. When he kills himself, mom Sandy (Weaver) and dad Ben (Jeff Daniels) are devastated. Brother Tim (Hirsch) feels worse — he's been harboring a dark secret. The film achieves a mordant wit when Ben tries to cheer his pot-smoking wife by offering her plastic surgery and Tim has a gay experiment with the boy next door (Ryan Donowho). What the movie damagingly lacks is a personality of its own.