Reviewed bycpg-2Vote: 9/10/10
I am so glad I found this movie. It is a snug little favorite of minealready. I come from a big family (all weirdos) who somehow get along verywell. But this story of a bunch of weirdos who do not is just GRAND. Othersmay say that the themes of family and home and blah blah are the centralidea here, but I say it is that Claudia (Hunter, playing our protagonist)has a really wonderful brother (Downey Jr. who nearly steals this filmaltogether).
Brother Tommy comes home for the holidays unexpectedly because he finds outhis sister has just had a reaaaaalllly bad day (fired from her job, teendaughter announces she's going to have sex, loses her coat, makes out withher boss, etc) and dealing alone with the family would be unthinkable. Hearrives with some hilarious fanfare, and proves to be excellent moralsupport for Hunter, a distraction for his family, and the provender of aninteresting new element....in the person of Leo Fish, who may or may not beTommy's new "partner."
Tommy ((heavily embellished and ad-libbed by Downey...listen carefully tohis banter...hilarious)ends up taking the inevitable flack for his gayness(probably why he was not going to come home in the first place) but her letsit roll off his back, choosing instead to enjoy his sister's company and hisparents' foibles. He also really enjoys (and so do we) watching Claudia andLeo Fish figure each other out.
They do...albeit obliquely and elliptically, with the conclusion sort of upin the air (hee hee). But in the process we are treated to Leo's very funkyand offhand outlook on life. Listen for his very wry speech about trying totalk golf with his own father...."Par Par Bogie Bogie Par Par" has become acatchphrase for "blah blah blah" in my house...
Anne Bancroft and Hunter are stellar, and McDermott is darned cute (the making-out-on-the-doorstep scene is darling). But Downey (yet again) is theone you watch. The director's commentary by Foster gives a clue that he wasfrustrating to work with, but it seems very worth it here. He is just SOwatchable, boistrous, too-energetic, motor-mouthed and loveable. We shouldall have such a brother. Lucky Claudia.
OH! Don't miss the turkey scene. Play it again to catch the peripheralcharacters' faces. I cannot wait for Thanksgiving!
Reviewed byjmaretVote: 9/10/10
What I like most about this movie is the atmosphere it creates: theanticipation of returning home during the dreariness of the season'sweather, the hustle and bustle of the holiday, the conflict between theloneliness and yet the quiet peace of waking to the first moonlit dustingofsnow. There's always such a buildup to that big day, and then it's over,and, as one titled scene suggests, "now what?"
But what touches me about this movie is what it has to say about love."Thevery thought of you" is more than a song at the movie's end, it's a themethat permeates the movie: such as when the father watches the home movieofhis children, illuminating one of the pivital moments of his life that wasonly seconds in length, but brings his life such joy and meaning. Themoviereminds us that it is "the very thought of you" that brings joy to us all.
Reviewed byIdefix-7Vote: 9/10/10
Jodie Foster managed to give us(with an outstanding ensemble of actors)adeliciously written and directed film about the tribulations of belonging toa family and the consequential heartache brought by growing apart from themas one becomes an individual. The sincerity of the script turns out to beone hell of a smash in the head to anyone that can empathize with the basicsituations confronted in a typical holiday gathering.Probably the saddest part(and one that most of us who have brothers/sisterswill understand) is the sudden knowledge that blood sometimes isn't enoughto love somebody. The crackings in fraternal relationships are deeplytouching and hard in this one, and while it is not my case, I think amother and father will break a few tears too as the going away of childrenand subsequent cutting of the umbilical chord is depicted as an evidenttransformation that is usually more painful to the elder than to the young.The cast is magnificent, and while the film is very simple in itsconstruction, I would avidly recommend it.
After losing her job, making out with her soon to be ex-boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson has to face spending the holiday with her family. She wonders if she can survive their crazy antics.