Staying Together (1989) from Tuna

Staying Together is a "slice of life" chick-flick, kiddie division. It was directed by the prolific actress Lee Grant.

The McDermott family has been in the chicken business forever, with a chicken restaurant in their small town. Dad and his three sons run the business. The town is undergoing changes. Developers have discovered the recreation potential of the town near a lake, and are building condos. This divides the town between those who welcome the appreciated property values, and those who want to preserve the small town way of life. It is against this backdrop that the father announces that he has always hated chickens, and has sold the restaurant to the developers. While I smelled the real reason for the father's decision to sell early in the film, it is not the plot but the relationship among the brothers that is really at the heart of the film.

The oldest brother is a wannabe business tycoon, who takes the sale very badly. He is sleeping with an older real estate agent who is running for town mayor on a development platform. The middle son is a runner, trying to win his childhood sweetheart and running companion (Daphne Zuniga) from the contractor she is engaged to. The youngest son is 17, and is successfully getting drunk, and unsuccessfully trying to get laid. 

Women rate Staying Together substantially higher than men do, and the chick-flick appeal is no surprise because this is a relationship film, and includes strong female characters. The film couldn't possibly be more "mom and apple pie," and falls way short of greatness, but has some humorous moments and scores very high on the believability scale. All in all, there are worse date flicks.


DVD INFO to the left



Daphne Zuniga does a lovely rear nude scene in bed with one of the sons after a marathon.

Diana Manoff, as a waitress in the chicken restaurant, is seen in bra, panties and panty hose in the restroom when the youngest son tries to convince her to help with his morning erection. It is clear that this is not an unusual occurrence.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb readers say 5.4, with men at 5.1 and women at 6.2.
  • The film grossed a mere $4.3 million in the USA.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. Decent date flick.

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