Things have been tough lately for Amelia. Her best friend moved out of the apartment, her cat got cancer, and now her best friend, Laura, is getting married. She copes with things, from the... See full summary »
Two families, sort of neighbors in Manhattan, cross paths as they navigate marriage, parenthood of a teen, ennui, a first date, and end-of-life care. Rebecca and Mary are sisters; their cranky 91-year-old grandmother's neighbors, Kateand Alex, run an upscale retro-furniture business, and will expand into her flat after she dies. Rebecca is quiet, without a boyfriend until a patient at the clinic where she works introduces her grandson. Mary is acerbic, stung by a recent breakup. Kate looks for meaning in her life, wondering if she should volunteer. Alex, too, is at loose ends. Their daughter, Abby, has zits and teenage moods. What does it mean to be good? Written by
Kate is shown reading a book, 'Assassination Vacation', by Sarah Vowell. That author appears in a brief but credited role as a shopper. The actress playing Kate, Catherine Keener, is also a featured voice in the audio book of 'Assassination Vacation'. See more »
A strong ensemble piece anchored by Catherine Keener, the movie is a funny and plausible reading of the neuroses of a functional, likable but in-pain group of working middle class New Yorkers.
What's most positive and enjoyable about the film is the desire of its characters to deal with their problems even when they're not aware they're doing it. But a natural striving to consciousness takes hold because they're all just open enough to admit they don't have all the answers. Watching them on a path that ineluctably carries them to self-awareness, and then each other, is one of the great movie pleasures of this year.
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