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"Familiar Strangers" asks the question. "Is it really possible to relate to ones parents and siblings after being replaced by the family dog? . . . Perhaps as friends - weird friends?" An off beat - funny - heartfelt story of family negotiating the changing relationships between parents and children, especially as those children grow into adulthood. Written by
My wife said we should go see this film when it was being shown at a local film festival. I did not know what I going to see or to expect. I thought it was going to be a 15-minute short amateur effort. What I saw was one of the most enjoyable movies I've seen in years. A story about a family (emphasis on story and family) and not a big budget film where the special effects were the best thing in the film. It is a film that tells in a light hearted way the story of a disjointed family. As in any family, dysfunctional seems to be normality. In truth, the family members do not know the 'real person' in each other, hence the title, "Familiar Strangers." The story is set in a small rural Virginia town that fills in for anywhere, USA because the characters will seem, well, like some of our own close neighbors or family members.
Georgia Mae Lively's performance as Maddy tells me that we will be seeing her in more films in the future. Each character was wonderfully acted and believable. The level of acting made each character seem real and brings you into the film. This is what a movie is supposed to do. Suspend reality and emotionally pull you into the characters' lives. The story has twists and turns that keep you hanging on to each line to ensure you don't miss anything.
In today's whiz-bang world, I found the pace to be a bit slow, which is why I gave this film only a 9 of 10 stars. I do want to get a copy of this movie on DVD so I can watch it again and see if I missed some nuance. The only sad part is that this movie has not yet found a distributor and is only being shown at small film events. I hope it does so I can tell my friends and family a nice way to spend time with someone you love.
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