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
The movie is about two neighbour families who are unusually close. None of the characters is likable. Hugh Laurie plays a father who has an affair with his teenage neighbour. The teenage daughter is an airhead. His own daughter is envious, spiteful and overweight with strangely shaved eyebrows. I could never tell the wives apart. They are both shrill, overreacting and controlling. The other husband is quite obese. He has a charming attachment to electronic gadgets which befuddle him, the source of most of the humour in the movie. Laurie has a handsome son, who is bland as a bowl of Pablum. He studies commerce. The most colourful character is the daughter's dead-beat ex-fiancé who manically tries to woo her back, reminiscent of Benjamin in The Graduate.
There is one crazy scene when Laurie's wife drives her car to destroy all his elaborate Christmas decorations, then tries to kill him. Not that much else unexpected happens, except opening a bottle of wine with a preposterously complicated electronic opener.
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