Grounded in the real-life experiences of writer-director Richard Ledes, "Fred Won't Move Out" centers on the efforts of two adult children to persuade their aging parents to leave the home where they've lived for 50 years.
But the filmmaker's personal connection to the story — he even shot the movie in the house where he grew up — fails to give "Fred Won't Move Out" an added emotional charge, and the drama simply feels directionless and flat.
Elliott Gould stars as Fred, whose wife, Susan (Judith Roberts), is suffering from dementia. He's foggy but still lucid enough to express his unhappiness with his son and daughter (Fred Melamed and Stephanie Roth Haberle), who believe they are doing their best to prepare their parents for impending changes.
Gould's layered performance shifts nimbly between confusion and anger, and there is recognizable pain throughout Ledes' film. Yet it never pushes through to anything beyond a surface portrait.