You’d be excused for thinking Shot in the Dark, the new HBO doc from Entourage’s Adrian Grenier, was little more than a predictably sappy tear jerker aimed at the Lifetime crowd. That’s certainly what I was expecting, so I was pleasantly surprised when the film turned out to be a sincere look at Grenier simply searching for answers about the estranged father he grew up without.
Out on DVD just in time for Father’s Day, the documentary, directed by Grenier, starts with interviews from a diverse group of strangers talking about their fathers, as well as Grenier’s mother and friends talking about how they think the actor was affected by not having a father in his life. But the real tension comes when he goes to Ohio to try and meet up with his dad and get some questions about their estrangement. I’m not revealing any Catfish-style spoiler by saying that he does meets up with his father John in an honest, but un Hollywood like drama-free confrontation.
By the end of the film there’s no real bad guy (though John’s current wife is definitely up there if you had to point a finger), but some of the questions have been answered and other sides to a one-sided story are revealed.
Shot in the Dark/85 Mins./HBO Home Video/2011