Being Frank was an extraordinary experience. I don’t know how many of you have ever walked into a film expecting one thing and then getting something different out of it. Let’s start with the lead actor, Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan is well known for his comedic prowess and travels all over the United States playing sell-out shows everywhere. Anytime that I’ve ever experienced his talents on screen, it has been usually in a supportive role which generally plays to his strength. So when the film started, I expected it to be a lighthearted experience which is on par with many of his past roles. Instead, to my delight, I got to watch a nuanced portrayal of a man who is confused that he’s convinced himself that having sets of wives and children is the right thing. In the constant upheaval of trying to maintain two separate lives, he doesn’t realize how he’s shattering many others.
Frank’s lie in a way becomes everybody’s, but they don’t know it. Gaffigan’s character realizes what is occurring around him, but he doesn’t want to give up what he loves, his kids, and their family dynamic. Seeing the man, I’m accustomed to watching slay on stage in this light made me immediately ponder why Hollywood hasn’t been giving him these types of roles. Hopefully, people will take note of this performance and will see more parts like this down the road for him. Breakthrough performances don’t happen often, but it sure is a joy to witness. Gaffigan’s breakthrough performance in Being Frank makes this title well worth seeing this weekend.
So what’s Being Frank about? The easiest way to explain the film is the film centers around Frank’s (Gaffigan) one lie which morphs into bigger ones and how he’s tried balancing two families while in the same time alienating his son and the guilt which builds inside over all of it. Director Miranda Bailey had an exceptional understanding of pacing and seemingly got the most of this cast. Writer Glen Lakin was able to craft this tale in a way which kept the balance of the serious with those light moments which came naturally in the piece. Overall, I found the experience of ‘Being Frank’ to be a joyful one, and I’m intrigued to see the types of roles Gaffigan is offered down the road because he sure as hell knocked this one out of the park.