The enduring friendship between the Walling and Ostroff families is tested when Nina, the prodigal Ostroff daughter, returns home for the holidays after a five-year absence and enters into an affair with David, head of the Walling family.
A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected.
J. Todd Smith
In conservative West Orange, New Jersey, the Ostroff and Walling families are very close. David Walling and Terry Ostroff are inseparable best friends and run together everyday. David has problems with his wife, Paige. He frequently sleeps alone in his office. Their daughter, Vanessa, is frustrated because she has not succeeded in her career as a designer. Their son, Toby, is moving to China on a temporary assignment. Terry's wife, Cathy, ignores him. Their daughter Nina moved to San Francisco five years ago. Near Thanksgiving, Nina's boyfriend Ethan betrays her at his birthday party and Nina returns to her parents house. Nina argues with her mother and draws closer to David. Soon they have an affair and fall in love, turning the lives of the people close to them upside-down. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
'Sex. Betrayal. Scandal. Make yourself at home. It's about to get juicy'
A bit of fluff or is it? This smart script written by Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss explores the conflicted views of society toward off kilter relationships through the tragicomic reactions of the two families and a few friends. These reactions, which range from awkward to furious, form the heart of the warm, funny, and occasionally touching movie. Some viewers may be distraught by the moral neutrality of the film, but since when did an intimate relationship between consenting adults, one of whom happens to be unhappily married, require censors to issue a strong moral condemnation? Not since the 1950's, yet we still talk about (and film) May- December coupling and other aspects of relationships that are far more detrimental to Good Housekeeping mentality than this story.
David (Hugh Laurie) and Paige (Catherine Keener) have a flat-line marriage and a handsome young son Toby (Adam Brody) and funky daughter Vanessa (Alia Shawkat). They live across the street from best friends Terry (Oliver Platt) and Cathy (Allison Janney) whose wayward daughter Nina (Leighton Meester) has returned home from San Francisco for the holidays after breaking up with her fiancée Ethan (Sam Rosen) after she catches him cheating. Cathy sees the perfect timing for Nina to re-connect with the very eligible Toby, tries all tricks to make this happens, but Nina will not be told how to respond. Instead Nina and David become entangled in an affair, which cause all manner of alterations in the 'friendship' between the two families and the relationship between the parents of each.
In the hands of other actors this would just be a silly, flippant Rom-com, but given the cast and direction by Julian Farino it is a fine examination of human foibles.
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