Colourful family dysfunction is the order of the day in this ramshackle indie road comedy that travels along the LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE/FLIRTING WITH DISASTER route. Adapted by Sherwood Kiraly from his comic novel, DIMINISHED CAPACITY is about
Chicago reporter Cooper (Matthew Broderick), who has short-term memory loss as the result of a concussion. He goes home to Missouri to check on his senile Uncle Rollie (Alan Alda) who has--among other nutty ideas--a system for getting the fish in the lake near the ancestral homestead to write poetry. Virginia Madsen is Charlotte, the girl next door who stayed behind to marry some knucklehead when Cooper moved away--and now sparks rekindle.
Everyone gets together for a road trip to Chicago, where Uncle Rollie plans to sell a priceless baseball card at a sports memorabilia convention. Stealing the movie outright is Dylan Baker as a tightly wound Cubs fan/card trader; he lends the movie a welcome sense of original comic timing and tone. Also good are Bobby Cannevale as the vibrantly brash card trader in the next booth, Louis C.K. as a recovering alcoholic who tries to rehabilitate Charlotte's snivelling brother (Jim Truefrost), a petty thief with eyes on Rollie's card, and Bhavna de Montebello as a pretty psychiatrist.
It's all set to a nice score of jangly indie guitars and tunes from Sufjan Stevens' gently devastating ILLINOIS album, as befits a 'quirky' feel-good indie. This first-time feature for actor-turned-director Terry Kinney certainly fits that bill; like old Uncle Rollie, it's a little disoriented at times, but all the more loveable for it.