“The Descendants” Trailer Is, Not Surprisingly, an Amusing Bummer

It's been seven years since writer-director Alexander Payne delivered a feature-length film, but it appears that his fears about spending middle-age alone have not abated one bit.

In 1999 Matthew Broderick lunged for the affections of Reese Witherspoon only to end up alone in "Election." In 2002 Jack Nicholson realized he had not yet begun to live until he was forced into retirement in "About Schmidt." In 2005 Paul Giammatti was a man still pining for his ex who blows his first chance at love with Virginia Madsen in "Sideways."

And now George Clooney's wife goes into a coma, leaving him to raise their two daughters, one of whom drops a bomb on him in "The Descendants." Here's the official synopsis:

From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning SIDEWAYS, set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

The trailer feels a bit familiar, though it's not devoid of charm and Robert Forster has great moment playing what appears to be Clooney's father, which is brilliant casting is it's true.  "The Descendants" opens Dec. 16.

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