Surely you’ll agree that it is very adorable when a man with bipolar disorder refuses to take his medication or stop drinking, thus jeopardizing his own health and the well-being of his children. If you’re not charmed by that scenario, then “Infinitely Polar Bear” is not for you.
Maya Forbes’ precious Sundance pablum (the title comes from a kid’s malaprop of “bipolar disorder”) stars Mark Ruffalo as Cameron, an eccentric bohemian who, in 1978, must care for his daughters (Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide) while his wife (Zoe Saldana) goes to business school. (The film flirts briefly with examining ’70s gender roles, then doesn’t.) The kids, accustomed to his nonsense, are embarrassed by their squalid apartment and Dad’s loony adventures, but golly, they sure love him!
To viewers, his manic friendliness and peripatetic train of thought can be amusing, but his stubbornness is infuriating. (TAKE YOUR MEDS! QUIT DRINKING! GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, MAN!) When it’s over, Cameron hasn’t grown or changed — if anything, the lesson is that the others should as free-spirited as he is. No thank you, generic indie twaddle.
C (1 hr., 30 min.; )