Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake play a pair of estranged father-and-son baseball players in "The Open Road," a dreary road film left in the dust at the weekend box office.
Normally that sort of potentially inspired casting, which also includes Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton in supporting roles, should help divert attention from any rough patches, but writer-director Michael Meredith ("Three Days of Rain") maps out a claustrophobic, dramatically inert route that allows his players precious little breathing room.
The Anchor Bay Films release earned just $13,000 from 14 theaters during the weekend, ensuring a hasty trip to the DVD store.
Carlton Garrett (a typically earnest Timberlake) is a mopey minor-leaguer unsure of his future who is forced to track down his legendary, professional dad, Kyle (Bridges), when his mother (Steenburgen) is about to go in for a serious operation.
Accompanied by his on-again, off-again girlfriend (Kate Mara), Carlton somehow manages to persuade his long-absent, unreliable old man to make the trek from Ohio to Texas in a red SUV that provides its passengers little opportunity to duck some previously unaddressed issues.