Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Through being around his uncles Arthur (Maury Chaykin) and Danny (Michael Richards), Steven (Nathan Watt) undergoes a change in personality. He becomes popular at school, and he also decides to become an observant Jew, much to the annoyance of his father Sid (John Turturro), who is a man of science. At the suggestion of Danny, Steven takes on “Franz” as a new name.
As Steven visits Danny and Arthur with his friend Ash (Joey Andrews), Ash wants to find out how nutty Danny is, so he and Steven play a cruel joke that preys on Danny’s paranoia about government conspiracies by typing up a false note from the “conspirators” saying that he has lost. Danny gets freaked out and locks himself in his room, and Steven calls his father over to help get him out. Sid tries to make Danny come out, but Danny exits when Sid moves away from the door and tells Arthur and Steven that he has to leave. He commits himself to a mental institution, and he misses Steven’s bar mitzvah.
Steven later visits Danny and admits that the note was a prank, but Danny thanks him for doing that, saying that it finally snapped him out of his mindset. Steven asks if that means he will be coming home now, but Danny says he can’t, and he urges Steven to stop worrying about him and start worrying about his father because he needs him now, and he assures Steven that he will somehow figure out a way to snap his father out of his mindset as well.
One morning, Selma (Andie MacDowell) finally succumbs to her ovarian cancer. At the funeral reception at the house, Sid spots Steven filming people (he had always told Steven that documentation was important), and he – out of grief – angrily scolds Steven for that and tells him that he cannot film anything anymore or call himself Franz. After Steven sees all of his film cans in the garbage, he takes a few particular ones and runs away. After he later looks for Steven and can’t find him, Sid heads to the mental institution with Sandy (Kendra Krull) and Arthur to see if Steven is with Danny, but he finds Danny by himself. He brings him along on his search, and Arthur confesses to Sid that he last saw Steven taking movies out of the trash. He didn’t tell him simply because he didn’t ask him, and he tells Sid that it isn’t right to throw memories away and that Steven just needs to say goodbye to his mother. Sid comes to believe that Steven is at the synagogue and drives over there, and sure enough, he finds him in a room with his mother’s coffin watching home movies he made that feature her. After Steven mentions that these films aren’t labeled, Sid replies that they ought to label them, and they hug and cry.
The movie ends with Steven shooting another home movie of his family, with Arthur and Danny included.