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Michael Douglas is such a great dramatic actor (not to mention villain) that it's worth remembering what a strong comedic performer he can be (War of the Roses,Romancing the Stone). InKing of California, he digs into his offbeat lighter role with relish and vigor. Yet he softens the scene-chewing with appropriate poignancy, given that he's playing a mentally ill deadbeat who's essentially left his daughter to raise herself--and him. Douglas plays Charlie, a troubled yet good-humored musician who's just been released from institutional care. Evan Rachel Wood is his wise-beyond-her-years daughter, Miranda, who pays the bills, keeps house, and even buys a car as an unlicensed 15-year-old. The film examines the bond between troubled dad and grounded teen, and it's to both actors' credit that the slight (and slightly incredulous) plot doesn't diminish the impact of their love or anguish.

Charlie's convinced a buried Spanish treasure lies beneath the local Costco (one of many companies given costar billing; others include McDonald's, Petco, Target, and Chuck E. Cheese). The plot follows Charlie's single-minded, impossible-dream journey, while the world-weary Miranda is resigned to following ("Time to get on that old bipolar pony and ride," she mutters). But along the way, dad and daughter find true ways to reconnect, and therein lies the true majesty of King of California --A.T. Hurley

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CastEvan Rachel Wood, Willis Burks II, Laura Kachergus, Paul Lieber
DirectorMike Cahill
Screen WriterMike Cahill
DVD Release Date:  January 29, 2008
Runtime:  93 minutes
Studio:  First Look Pictures
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review by . May 31, 2009
... and an adroit portrayal of a nut-case California libertarian dysfunctional father with a heart (or possibly a whole chest) of gold. If you've ever lived in California, especially southern, you're excused; you don't need to see it, you can just sit on a step-ladder in your patio and watch your neighbors. Otherwise, you might not feel too bad about wasting an hour-and-a-half on a film that aspires to be as wildly sardonic as a Coen Brothers movie, but ends up as sappy as Gidget.    Oh …
review by . March 27, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I thought I'd fallen in love with Michael Douglas years ago when I saw Romancing the Stone on a warm summer afternoon. Turns out it was just infatuation. By the end of the movie, I realized I could never make a life with him--I hate men who are willing to betray their women, even if they come back around in the end.... But now... with the beard and the 'character' lines in his face--and the ability to take on a persona wholly unlike his own--I love him again. For real this time.
review by . February 01, 2008
KING OF CALIFORNIA may not break any records for innovation of thought or script but it is a tightly made little film that allows veteran actor Michael Douglas a lollipop of a wacky role to remind us that he does have comedic talent! It also gives 20-year old Evan Rachel Wood the opportunity to compete with a Pro and come out an equal - quite a feat for such a young actress. Written and directed by Mike Cahill the story does have appeal, especially since it is set in Santa Clarita, California, a …
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