It is always a curiosity when Hollywood families come together for a project. I love seeing the Estevezes (aka Sheens) appear together -- sure, even in Men at Work. And sometimes the Coppolas do well with one another -- Talia Shire in her brother's Godfather movies, for example. But often it is a bad idea to work with or cast family members. The most obvious case is Sofia Coppola (Shire's niece) being in her father's The Godfather: Part III. Just recently Jake Paltrow received a paltry reception for a movie he made featuring his sister, Gwyneth. Now, another new filmmaker is attempting a similar feat: According to Variety, Bruce Dern will make his directorial debut with Hart's Location, in which he'll appear alongside his ex-wife, Diane Ladd, and his daughter, Laura Dern. Written by Ashley Reed, the film will appropriately be about family estrangement. Laura will star as a woman seeking to regain custody of her son while also attempting to locate her father, who left when she was 3.

It is worth noting that Diane Ladd has been nominated for three Oscars, all for films in which her daughter also appears (Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore; Wild at Heart; Rambling Rose). The last of these even saw a nomination for Laura, as well, marking the first time a mother and daughter were ever recognized by the Academy for the same film. So, for the women, at least, Hart's Location seems to be a great idea. Maybe there's more Oscars in their future. On the other hand, it also seems to have a sort of novelty to it, like the badly-received It Runs in the Family, which featured a lot of the Douglases (Michael, Kirk, Cameron and Diana), in what appeared to exist just for the stunt-casting. Like that movie, Hart's Location also unites a real-life divorced couple (Dern and Ladd parted ways in 1969). Interestingly enough, though, Ladd has already directed her ex-husband, in 1994's little-seen Mrs. Munck. Hopefully Dern can do better in this reversal of roles. As long as he spends more attention on making a good movie rather than on working out his personal issues (he told Daily Variety that the project makes sense for them because it's about the things you wish you'd said to your family members), then I'll be looking forward to it. The film begins shooting in New Orleans in February.