Moralizing Melodrama Stars Richard Gere as Rich Control Freak


The Benefactor, DVD Review by Kam Williams, Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, moralizing melodramaThe Benefactor

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Moralizing Melodrama Stars Richard Gere as Rich Control Freak

Filthy-rich Francis Watts (Richard Gere) is every bit as flamboyant as he is altruistic. But the Philadelphia philanthropist also has an annoying personality flaw: a need to interfere in the affairs of the recipients of his charity.

For instance, the meddling bachelor has purchased a home for Olivia (aka “Poodles”) (Dakota Fanning) and Luke (Theo James), newlyweds expecting their first child. Furthermore, he has not only paid off the husband’s medical school loans, but secured the physician a position at a children’s hospital where he serves on the board.

In this case, there’s a logical reason for Franny’s Iargesse, namely, his overwhelming regret about having caused the car accident that claimed the lives of Olivia’s parents. Still, that doesn’t explain why the creepy control freak feels entitled to crawl into bed with the couple or to pressure the young doctor to write him illegal prescriptions for the painkiller he’s become addicted to.

That is the intriguing point of departure of The Benefactor, a moralizing melodrama marking the writing and directorial debut of Andrew Renzi (unless you count Fishtail, a documentary he made about life on a Montana cattle ranch). Here, unfortunately, Renzi squanders the talents of A-listers Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning in service of a disappointing script that even their considerable talents couldn’t help salvage.

Gere’s Franny is an ostentatious dandy sporting a flowing silver mane who alternates between making bizarre and generous gestures. However, there is obviously a big hole in his soul but the picture doesn’t deign to divulge the source of his angst . No, that’s saved for the silly soap opera’s big reveal which, quite frankly, wasn’t worth the wait.

The Benefactor, DVD Review by Kam Williams, Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, moralizing melodrama

Meanwhile, Fanning isn’t given much to do beyond a variety of vapid reaction shots to Franny’s over-the-top antics. Oh, and her belly keeps expanding as her pregnancy progresses, too, if wearing different rubber suits counts as method acting.

An unconvincing melodrama indicting money’s power to manipulate as the root of all evil.

Fair (1 star)


Running time: 92 minutes

Distributor: Entertainment One

To order a copy of The Benefactor on DVD, visit:


Is Donald Trump Afraid of the Dark?

  Is Donald Trump Afraid of the Dark? GREG PALAST’S “THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits”    WHO:  Greg Palast, Rolling Stone/BBC investigative reporter films a real, live detective thriller about the upcoming theft of the 2016 election and the hunt for billionaires behind it.   With Shailene Woodley, Willie Nelson, Rosario Dawson, Ed Asner and Robert F. Kennedy with "detectives" Ice-T and Richard Belzer  … [Read More its Good for You...]


The “City of Angels” is a Fact for Our Wild Friends

  The “City of Angels” is a Fact for Our Wild Friends by Amy Lignor   It’s called the City of Angels. The title makes some laugh out loud when they think of the violence, driving, and other negatives that are focused upon by the media when speaking about Los Angeles. But a new book has just hit the market that opens up all new doors, proving that where both Los Angeles and the entirety of California are concerned, those angels actually do exist. Author Beth … [Read More its Good for You...]


ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]


Rappin’ with “The Dude”

    Jeff Bridges The “Hell or High Water” Interview with Kam Williams Rappin' with "The Dude" One of Hollywood’s most successful actors and a six-time Academy Award-nominee, Jeff Bridges performance in Crazy Heart as Bad Blake, the down-on-his-luck, alcoholic country music singer at the center of the drama, deservedly garnered the iconic performer an Oscar in the Best Lead Actor category. The performance also earned him a  Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and … [Read More it Good for You...]


Crossbows the perfect fit for youth hunters

    Crossbows the perfect fit for youth hunters By Craig Lamb   Many states require a minimum draw weight of between 35 and 40 pounds for the purposes of archery hunting for whitetail deer and wild turkey. That keeps many enthusiastic youth hunters out of the woods until they can gain enough strength to meet the rule.   Or does it?   “The crossbow allows kids the opportunity to hunt at a much earlier age,” says Jake Miller, an avid archery … [Read More its Good for You...]


Get Ready for Football!

  Get Ready for Football! by Amy Lignor   There is a time every year where suddenly the sports news gets far more interesting. No. I’m not talking about the Olympics. Thus far the only thing anyone wants to hear about where Rio is concerned is a virus. What I speak of is that familiar smell of pigskin wafting in the air. The time when the (no offense) more boring sports exit the headlines to make way for the one sport that boasts more avid, loud, and loyal … [Read More its Good for You...]


Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands

  Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands by Amy Lignor   This is 2016. This is an election year. “Shark Tank” is a top show on television. And more than ever people want to be entrepreneurs; be in business for themselves and make some money. But even after all this time in the computer-age, entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to see the ‘niches’ they can get into to build their brand so that all consumers know who they are and why their … [Read More its Good for You...]


Visit the Most Beautiful Nature Locales in the Country

  Visit the Most Beautiful Nature Locales in the Country by Amy Lignor   Wildlife habitat gardens are being created in a variety of locations, in a variety of sizes. There are even those that are funded by some large names and organizations, who are calling out to tourists across the globe to come visit and see what great things are being done to sustain and increase the wildlife community.   These are places that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has … [Read More its Good for You...]