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After Sara Swerdlow's death in a nightly car accident, her excessively self-righteous mother Natalie shamelessly invites herself to move into her room at the remote summer house where her friends are on holiday as often before. Gay playwright Adam fails to evict her because of happily married Peter's cavalier hospitality. Soon everyone suffers facing Sara's, and their own past and present, as Nathalie only thought she really knew her 'all-confiding' daughter, which shifts several reports. Written by
Let's send Tom Everett Scott off to the old College of Osculation...........
A number of earlier reviewers have done a good job of "synop-sizing" this film's plot. But, notably, not many have devoted much time to performances (other than several who've dedicated much of their comments to the famous Diane Keaton and her characterization). At any rate, please let me jump in here.
Depth of performance is not this film's strong point. Keaton's work here is kind of "slide by"........just not her best. There's a noticeable tendency to act out in an over-the-top manner---though she's usually able to pull it back in before things get too messy.
Career-wise, Josh Hopkins and Scott, both the same age, share about the same number of filmed performances, with Scott holding an edge in movie productions, as opposed to TV works. These are definitely the male leads of this production, but it is Hopkins, as Peter, who becomes head and shoulders the standout. He is quite, quite good, and it has to be asked why he's not further up the scale of stardom at this point (lack of good agency representation, perhaps). And if there's a breath of fresh air in all this, it's Chris Pine's performance of a ebullient Shawn. He's a cutie, a sweetie, and he shines. Nothing keeps his character down.
Playing a gay character (Adam), Scott is perhaps surprisingly at nowhere near the performance level of those already mentioned. His past work experience would lead one to expect otherwise, but, sadly, that is not the case. When Peter calls Adam a "Little Bitch" at one point in the film, he comes very close to describing what is my take on Scott's performance: someone whose characterization is "diva-ish"---which I believe to be really over the top, as opposed to the way this part should be played. More, when he's not doing that, his delivery just seems flat (see Tom run, see Tom run after Spot). So, for anyone reading this who might have something to do with assisting Scott in selecting future roles, please have him refrain from those involving a gay character. I just don't see that he has it in him; his one gay interaction with another player, a kiss with Shawn, is a disaster (it shouldn't be like giving your grandmother a peck; can't you do better than to give us a lips-glued-shut kiss?). Why take on any role like this if you can't throw yourself into it?
This production, in my opinion, is not one worth the expense of adding to your DVD collection.
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