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.
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
Leighton Meester (Nina) and Adam Brody (Toby) are married in real life. See more »
When David and Terry are trying out the Russian Vodka he removed from his mini fridge, David is seen putting the cap back on his bottle. Then on the very next shot, David is putting the cap back on again. See more »
The question of happiness has preoccupied philosophers, poets and pharmaceutical companies for thousands of years. Clearly, it's a tricky one.
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What you have to be clear about, is that this movie is about perception. How do people perceive things, how does society judge and how do we know what is wrong and right? While I admit that especially later on, this movie lacks a bit of attachment to some of the characters, in never feels like they are cardboard cut outs. And while it might seem that passion is missing, just acting wild is not the definition of going through things. Sometimes a more subtle approach can work better.
If you feel, the movie should have been more aggressive in that case, that is a fair point, but you either accept that it didn't take that route or you are condemning it to lose from the start. The actors are incredible, but reading their names alone should tell you that. Their interactions and connections seem to work perfectly. Even the ending is nicely done, although as always it won't satisfy everybody of course. A family drama/comedy that is by definition not a family film, but a look into guilt, responsibilities, growing up and (as mentioned above) perception
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