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.
Surrounded by wealth and living with abundant resources in Manhattan, 12-year-old cello prodigy Reggie, lives a solitary life lacking only frequently absent parents and friends. Estranged from family, having slacker boyfriend troubles, and fired from her waitressing job, sometimes musician 23-year-old Eleanor needs a new place to live and a new job.
As a war rages on in the province of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, a young girl becomes transfixed by the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, which is being read at school by the only white man in the village.
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
This movie isn't about adultery or male fantasies. To think that is to completely miss out on what the film is trying to say (and I feel it's dodging the questions that are silently asked throughout the movie: "What is happiness and what is it worth?")
While a previous review mentions the movie being about consequences, and there certainly is plenty of that showcased throughout the film, it's really about a group of people, family and close friends, who realize that they are all still searching for happiness after the imaginary suburbia happy fairy gets metaphorically hit by a truck.
By the end of the film, one may wonder whether various moment were that of selflessly sacrificing personal happiness in order for others, whom you also love, to have more of their own.
The casting simply could not have been any better for this film and, ironically, this picture marks the second time that Leighton Meester has played a character who has a thing for Hugh Laurie (House, MD).
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