In LA's Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children's acculturation and immigrant parents... See full summary »
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In LA's Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children's acculturation and immigrant parents' fears collide. In the Avila family, Isabel's son has invited her estranged husband to their family dinner. Audrey and Ron Williams want to keep their own family's ruptures secret from Ron's visiting mother. In the Seelig household, Herb and Ruth are unwilling to discuss openly their grown daughter's living with her lover, Carla. Around each table, things come to a head. A gun, an affair, a boyfriend, and a pregnancy precipitate crises forcing each family to find its center. Written by
We've had AMERICAN PIE, AMERICAN BEAUTY, and AMERICAN PSYCHO. This is AMERICAN STEW.
The film is entertaining as it mixes drama and comedy into an interesting recipe. To use other metaphors, the film is the American tossed salad or mixing bowl. We see four quite different families experiencing Thanksgiving day in seemingly different ways. But underneath, we see also the similarities of the joys, pains, and struggles as the various families deal with the reality hidden beneath the holiday veneer.
As the family members connect with and disconnect from each other and with members of the other families, the surface is pulled away, and we see what is really underneath the pleasantries and polite facades. This is a very accurate depiction of the sadness and humor that surround family holidays, and the film might be a good thing to watch just before or during such holidays. We see ourselves reflected in the mirror of the movie and can learn that holidays can be hilarious pains.
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