After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family.
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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. Written by
Cyndi Kessler <email@example.com>
Steve Guttenberg is oddly missing from the family photo used in posters and covers of DVDs. There is a glaring space where someone should be on the couch next to Anne Bankroft. See more »
When entire family is at dinner table, Aunt Gladdy is asleep, then passing food, then asleep again. See more »
Russell 'Sad Sack' Terziak:
Well, duty calls. Merry Christmas, if I don't ever see you again. You have a nice life, Claudia. (leaves. Claudia walks past Tommy and Leo, nearly in tears)
She'll bounce back. Trust me on this.
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I am so glad I found this movie. It is a snug little favorite of mine already. I come from a big family (all weirdos) who somehow get along very well. But this story of a bunch of weirdos who do not is just GRAND. Others may say that the themes of family and home and blah blah are the central idea here, but I say it is that Claudia (Hunter, playing our protagonist) has a really wonderful brother (Downey Jr. who nearly steals this film altogether).
Brother Tommy comes home for the holidays unexpectedly because he finds out his sister has just had a reaaaaalllly bad day (fired from her job, teen daughter announces she's going to have sex, loses her coat, makes out with her boss, etc) and dealing alone with the family would be unthinkable. He arrives with some hilarious fanfare, and proves to be excellent moral support for Hunter, a distraction for his family, and the provender of an interesting new element....in the person of Leo Fish, who may or may not be Tommy's new "partner."
Tommy ((heavily embellished and ad-libbed by Downey...listen carefully to his 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 lets it roll off his back, choosing instead to enjoy his sister's company and his parents' foibles. He also really enjoys (and so do we) watching Claudia and Leo Fish figure each other out.
They do...albeit obliquely and elliptically, with the conclusion sort of up in the air (hee hee). But in the process we are treated to Leo's very funky and offhand outlook on life. Listen for his very wry speech about trying to talk golf with his own father...."Par Par Bogie Bogie Par Par" has become a catchphrase 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 the one you watch. The director's commentary by Foster gives a clue that he was frustrating to work with, but it seems very worth it here. He is just SO watchable, boistrous, too-energetic, motor-mouthed and loveable. We should all have such a brother. Lucky Claudia.
OH! Don't miss the turkey scene. Play it again to catch the peripheral characters' faces. I cannot wait for Thanksgiving!
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