A film so indie that writer/director Marcus Markou had to self-distribute it in his native England, Papadopoulos and Sons nevertheless has all the the family-friendly charm to which Hollywood strives but seldom achieves. The story is nothing new: Wealthy entrepreneur Harry Papadopoulos (Stephen Dillane) overextends himself to build a massive real estate development and comes close to losing everything in a sudden economic crisis that looks an awful lot like the one in 2008. The only thing that survives the creditors' onslaught is the long-abandoned fish-and-chips shop he and his wayward and free-spirited brother Spiros (French actor Georges Corraface) ran together when they were young. Can a family reunion and a return to happier times be far behind?
The film's low-key but recognizable depiction of corporate greed makes its predictability easy to swallow, rendering a too-familiar story surprisingly fresh. Though it possesses the warm, burnished look of a full-scale Hollywood production, the film's low-budget origins sometimes peek through, especially in an awkward and cheap-looking photomontage that seems included mainly to save on film stock. But by that time, Papadopoulos and Sons has already established itself as a great restorative for anyone having a bad day. The movie's central theme says that it's never too late to figure out what's really important in life. Sometimes simple truths manage to overcome cliche and even bear repeating. — KEN KORMAN