The cynic in me wants to immediately dismiss a movie as nakedly sentimental as The Starling. I also want to ask, nay demand, that this cast reunite for an actual comedy, and not this tear-jerker. But I can't do that, because it looks genuinely moving, even as I see it's practically waving cut onions in my face.
Melissa McCarthy and Chris O'Dowd star as Lilly and Jack, a couple living with depression after their baby dies. Jack has checked himself into a mental health facility, while Lilly struggles to make it through each day. A nurse at Jack's hospital recommends a different type of therapy for her. She finally agrees to meet Larry (Kevin Kline), a psychologist turned veterinarian. Their friendship and bond with animals helps them both see the world in a new light.
While I'm not a fan of obvious house-renovation-as-life-renovation metaphors - which Kline is no stranger to, having starred in Life as a House 20 years ago - this looks like it will be a cathartic, if corny, experience. And Loretta Devine (as a fellow patient) speaks for all of us when she calls Jack an "asshole" for making her cry. Indeed.
The Starling premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival and arrives in select theaters and on Netflix on September 24.