Spanning three generations, the Grombergs are a highly successful, but somewhat dysfunctional New York family. Patriarch Mitchell Gromberg is having difficulty coming to grips with his mortality. His son, Alex, has spent his life trying to not become his father; while Alex\'s son, Asher, tries to find himself as he parties away his college years. The tale revolves around Alex who is caught in the middle of this changing family. Trying to avoid the mistakes his father made, while coming to terms with the ones he\'s already passed on to his own sons, Alex is navigating his way through the tricky roles he plays as father, son and husband.
 

4
It\'s not a wildly dramatic film but it has its moments, some of them very moving.

Michael Douglas has been looking for a project in which he could star with his father Kirk, particularly after Kirk suffered a stroke. The screenplay by young Jesse Wigutow, It Runs In the Family seemed to be the perfect answer.

Alex, Michael Douglas, is a successful corporate lawyer but there are gaps in his life. His unresolved relationship with his father Mitchell, Kirk Douglas, despite the calming intervention of his mother Evelyn, Diana Douglas, (Kirk\'s wife and Michael\'s mother) is a constant irritant and he\' s not as close to his sons as he would like. Asher, Cameron Douglas, (son of Michael) is at college and underachieving, but he\'s a good contact if you want drugs. And Eli, Rory Culkin, isn\'t able to talk to his parents about the things that are worrying him, like being bullied and liking a girl who\'s an outsider. Alex\'s wife Rebecca, Bernadette Peters is a psychiatrist but it doesn\'t take deep insight to discover evidence of Alex\'s infidelity. Strained relationships abound in this family.

This gentle film about family and the ties that bind, the sins that are passed on through the generations resonates with truthful moments. It\'s not a wildly dramatic film but it has its moments, some of them very moving. As you would expect the performances are beautifully matched. Fred Schepisi was invited to direct after his splendid work on Last Orders and while this film doesn\'t match that masterpiece his direction avoids the maudlin sentimentality that could have pervaded this work. And it\'s a bit of a milestone seeing so many Douglas\'s together in one film.