British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
Eileen Cleary has just been nominated for Catholic Woman of the year when her family drop a bombshell. Over the dinner table she discovers that not only is her son leaving his wife and children for the local beautician, but her daughter is 5 months pregnant and about to marry her girlfriend. Desperate to win the award, Eileen is conflicted between shame over her family and still desiring to do the right thing by them. Unable to accept either of their choices her family begins to splinter, with even her husband threatening to leave. Ultimately this is a feel-good movie and Eileen proves herself to be a person worthy of both the award and her family. Written by
Whether or not one believes in alternative life styles or those not sanction by a traditional religious viewpoint, this movie presents a straightforward and perhaps even an honest experience of tradition meeting un-tradition and the human consequences. Directed in a mainstream, non-art film, the script focuses on some quit socially divisive social issues at least taken from a conservative religious perspective. The tone of the movie is odd as the music and the beginning sequences are suggestive of a light comedy as perhaps these topics of blending religion and the more contemporary societal mores have been treated. Perhaps it is a testament that a more serious, but mainstream approach to the current social and marital issues can be presented in this way.
Unlike the comedy of All Above Steve (2009), light touch of Lars and the Real Girl (2007), the more blended light and serious drama of The Perfect Man (2005), and the more inclusive treatment of Little Miss Sunshine (2006), In & Out (1997), Connie and Carla (2004), Victor, Victoria (1982), or The Birdcage (1999), The Perfect Family plays it much straighter, no pun intended. The Family Stone (2005) has a decent balance of tone and serio-comedy about familial relationships yet in some ways The Perfect Family is much more involved in its depiction of relational disruption and its more emotive/mental edginess that is usually toned tone in most movies or dramatically and icily directed for dramatic shock rather as in such more serious, darker movies as A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007) or art movie as Margot at the Wedding (2007) than The Perfect Family's more evolving, sustain realization of personal choices for the mainstream audience.
Elizabethtown (2005) or Georgia Rule (2007) in their simple but plain depiction of relational awkwardness comes close to The Perfect Family in tone and style. Yet perhaps The Human Stain (2003) or American Beauty (2000), The Hours (2002) are the movies that retain their hard-hitting and cinematic edge in revealing the visceral emotional, mental turmoil in dramatic form.
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