Break Point, directed by Jay Karas
I Believe in Unicorns, directed by Leah Meyerhoff
Joe, directed by David Gordon Green
Day seven at SXSW was bookended by two films dealing with troubled boys looking for surrogate fathers. In between, a teenaged girl, desperate to get away from a life of caring for her wheelchair bound mother, takes off with an older boy.
In most respects, the Jeremy Sisto vehicle Break Point is a conventional sports dramedy. Sisto plays a talented but obnoxious tennis pro who has to reconcile with his estranged brother (David Walton) since no one else will partner with him. What we need to know about tennis can be summed up in one sentence for each brother. Sisto's character leads the qualifying circuit in aces and double faults. His brother once volleyed for five minutes to win a single point by waiting for his opponent to make a mistake.
We know from the start that the brothers will each have to become a little more like the other, but the formula is slightly complicated by a middle school student who latches on to Walton's character after he does a substitute teaching gig. The boy lives with his grandmother, claiming to be an orphan, and it is clear that he also needs to be a little bit like both brothers. Nearly everything I said about Chef applies to Break Point as well. The adult-child interactions are the best parts, and it is surprisingly sweet for the eighty percent that is not needlessly crass. Sisto's character is a prototypical example of the emotionally arrested man-child who ...