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A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.
but reality isn't necessarily all that entertaining. The cast of unknowns, most of whom have had bits in episodes in one or more of the Law & Order triumverates, bring to life real everyday people -- just like the title says. The situations and interactions are real. Problems are not solved. People are not nearly-all-saint or nearly-all-sinner. They are just everyday people in a disheartening economy, struggling to preserve at least a shred of human dignity.
Even though it premiered on HBO and now bears the HBO imprimatur, it's obvious that it was filmed on a shoestring budget, but that makes it all the more real. Be warned though, that like reality, some things are just pointless, dull, and boring. That's life too.
This movie has a beginning -- the decision to close the restaurant due to bad economic times -- but no ending. The people involved do a good job of falling into the racism trap, then letting go when seeing its pointlessness as an excuse once again, while still recognizing that it will always be part of their realities, keeping the playing feels tilted against them -- perhaps not insurmountably so -- but tilted against them nonetheless. Mostly, by the film's end, you feel how tired these people feel -- and have no better idea of how their lives will end up than when they started -- just like real life.
It also is a good movie to watch with teenagers, really tough situations, and adult themes, but no nudity, violence, or glibness, hence a great conversation-starter.
I give it 8/10, but don't try to watch it if you're overly tired.
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