Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

What About Men's Feelings Anyway? "Welcome to the Men's Group" Opens May 18

Can 8 middle aged men find happiness discussing their feelings as men, taking off their clothes & breaking stuff?


The whole ensemble – starting with Joseph Culp (Michael) and clockwise, Timothy Bottoms (Larry), Ali Saam (Mohammed), Stephen Tobolowsky (Carl), Terence Rotolo ( Eddie), Phil Abrams (Neil), David Clennon (Fred), Mackenzie Astin (Tom).

"Welcome to the Men's Group" takes us inside the intimate dynamic of an all- male support group when they gather one morning for a ritual breakfast and their unique form of male bonding.

One Sunday a month, these eight men refrain from beer and football to sit in a circle where they share their personal issues, in the noble hope of becoming a bit more evolved than their fathers.

On this particular Sunday things do not go as planned when one member appears headed for a breakdown. When stressed out corporate attorney, Larry (Timothy Bottoms), wakes to find his severely depressed wife missing, he's in no mood to host the monthly "Men's Group" at his newly built upscale home.

But that doesn't stop the oddball "band of brothers" from descending on his new house for their ritual breakfast and unique brand of male bonding. Hilarity ensues.

"My co-writer Scott Ben-Yashar and I personally spent many years in men's groups and wanted to create a film that could bring an audience into this intimate space that we found so inspiring," says Joseph Culp, who also acts in the movie, as does Ben-Yashar. "We wanted to celebrate the light and dark sides of men, so this film is definitely a "dramedy.""

Welcome to the Men's Group is a challenging look at "male vulnerability" and soberly tackles issues of male shame, sex addiction, suicide, fatherhood, co- dependence, competition and grief. The men in this film are not perfect models of male integrity, but they are all engaged in the process of healing and recovery to varying degrees, stumbling towards the light to forge a community of trust that will give them spiritual sustenance.

"This is not an easy film and yes, it dares to "go there", as we say today, but it also uses humor and irreverence to celebrate the zaniness and absurdity of men and supports the idea that "Irreverence is a doorway to the sacred.""

Dark Star Pictures releases WELCOME TO THE MEN'S GROUP directed by Joseph Culp.

Premiere on May 16th at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills

Opening on May 18 at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater.

Larry..................Timothy Bottoms

Carl.....................Stephen Tobolowsky

Eddie..................Terence J. Rotolo

Tom....................Mackenzie Astin

Michael...............Joseph Culp

Mohammed........Ali Saam

Timothy Bottoms (Larry), Terence Rotolo (Eddie)

Neil.....................Phil Abrams

Fred....................David Clennon

U.S. Premiere - Los Angeles: May 16, 2018

Ahrya Fine Arts Theater, Beverly Hills


Official opening - May 18, 2018

Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills




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