‘My Dead Dad’ Review: Rental Units and Long-Term Lessons

A callow skateboarder takes over an apartment building that had been owned by his father and grows through his interactions with the tenants

Pedro CorreaPhoto: HBO Max

Its catchy title aside, “My Dead Dad” is reminiscent of a certain species of ’90s indie film that combined high concept and low financing and ended up being about moments—by a lone actor, between actors, or by an ensemble of relatively unknowns finding a groove. “Dad” is like that—smartly directed, deftly edited, with a cast of performers who all get a chance to show what they can do.

My Dead Dad

Wednesday, HBO Max

Pedro Correa, who wrote the film with first-time feature director Fabio Frey, play Lucas, a rather shiftless youth whose father dies and leaves him an apartment building in Los Angeles. “How’d he die?” Lucas asks, looking blasé and lighting up a cigarette. “Lung cancer,” says his mom (Terry Walters). The lad’s main occupation had been skateboarding, until another member of the Reno Rats suffered some kind of head injury. We’re not sure what it was; it’s given to us only in video glimpses. But it was bad enough to turn Lucas away from a sport in which he was a minor celebrity. And having nothing else keeping him in Nevada, he heads to L.A.

Continue reading your article with
a WSJ membership

View Membership Options