The new film "Frankie" has several elements working for it.
It features a wonderfully talented cast and by setting the film in an exotic local (Portugal) it allows for some beautiful imagery.
But what "Frankie" has in appealing aesthetics, it lacks in a story that is an engaging as the people in it - leaving audiences with an empty feeling as they exit the theater.
Isabelle Huppert plays the title character, a successful actress and matriarch who brings her family to Portugal for a family holiday - only to have relationships blossom and fade through the course of a day.
Frankie's daughter Sylvia (Vinette Robinson) and her husband Ian (Ariyon Bakare) have hit a rocky patch in their marriage, with Sylvia contemplating moving on.
Frankie's son Paul (Jérémie Renier) is between relationships, which prompts mom to hatch a plan to hook up her son with a woman she met on the set of one of her films Ilene (Marisa Tomei). The only problem there is Ilene has brought her current boyfriend Gary (Greg Kinnear).
You also get Brendan Gleeson as Frankie's husband to round out the stellar cast. This group is up to the task, and really manage to milk some strong individual moments out of "Frankie."
The problem though is a lot of the conflict in "Frankie" has an emptiness that makes it hard to connect with the characters. The conflicts are familiar and the resolutions don't have the dramatic impact needed to overcome the familiarity.
And there lies the problem with "Frankie," for a film built around drama there really isn't much drama to work with. It's basically just a pretty new package of something we've seen many times before.