Lacking a solid narrative beyond the worsening marital crisis, this humor-flecked domestic drama ends up relying heavily on directorial tricks such as splashes of magic realism, giving it a self-satisfied air that quickly becomes grating.
Essentially an hour-long monologue, but this talking head is so engaging that you can't blame director Lech Kowalski's camera for not wanting to stray from the late Dee Dee Ramone's party-ravaged face.
There's nothing particularly startling or new in the script by Siegel and his co-writers Lisa Bazadona and Grace Woodard - except that it, refreshingly, draws its characters in real-life shades of gray.
An exploration of the way the sins of the father trickle down to his offspring, is dense with quirky characters and subplots all woven into a rather heavy-handed meditation on the evils of globalization.
Apart from some irritating and redundant camera tricks early on in the film, director Blair Treu plays it white-bread straight, delivering an uncommonly inoffensive, after-school-special-style teen flick.
Some of the plot points are confusingly vague, the tone lurches wildly between genres, and the film's epilogue pushes the bounds of believability - but The Hard Word could never be accused of being predictable.