“The Mend”: He is heavy, he’s my brother


From the outset, you think you know what sort of independent movie John Magary’s “The Mend” is going to be. Two brothers, one a straight-arrow, the other a ne’er-do-well rebel type, have been estranged for years, but manage to bond over one crazy weekend in New York City. The rebel learns to be a little responsible and, hey, maybe that stuffy straight arrow learns to loosen his tie and be a little more spontaneous, right? Maybe one of them could be played by Josh Lucas, the blandly handsome actor from the NBC version of “The Firm” and doing voice over ads for Home Depot.

“The Mend” does have many of those elements in place, including Lucas. But it is a bracingly different sort of film, a funny and scabrous look at family dysfunction that lives many loose ends both narrative and visual untied. Magary always wants to show rather than tell, suggest rather than show, and it makes for a film that gets its hooks in more deeply than you might anticipate.

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