6.5/10
100
3 user 12 critic

An Ordinary Family (2011)

Thomas is blindsided when his estranged brother, Seth, shows up unannounced to the annual family vacation... with his boyfriend. Despite a well meaning attempt to surprise everyone, things ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Troy Schremmer ...
Thomas
Greg Wise ...
Seth
Janelle Schremmer ...
Mattie
...
William
Steven Schaefer ...
Chris
Megan Minto ...
Sharon
...
Mom
Huck Schremmer ...
Jack
Rachel Wise ...
Annie
Shannon Haragan ...
Erin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Guy in Bar
D.J. Castillo ...
Club DJ
Mike Chapman ...
Rector
Rocky Conly ...
'Bear' Bouncer
...
Coworker at bar
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Storyline

Thomas is blindsided when his estranged brother, Seth, shows up unannounced to the annual family vacation... with his boyfriend. Despite a well meaning attempt to surprise everyone, things do not go as planned, throwing Thomas and the family into an awkward week long vacation where everyone has problems and no one wants to talk about them. Written by Patterson, Matt (V)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A week of vacation. A lifetime to unpack.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

May 2012 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$325,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Men, women and god.
28 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I did really enjoy the film. It threw up many questions for me but provided few answers, quite rightly so.

It made me feel that we (western capitalist nations) bring up male children very badly. In this film the women are the peace makers, the understanders, the open arms. The men are competitive, sparring; on one hand full of self regard, yet on the other hand riddled with insecurities. The constant need to be "right", the need to achieve, the need to be cared for and accepted. Draining, tiresome men. The gay men slightly less so, I suppose you could say they embody a bit more of womanhood than the straight guys in the film. I feel that this is a very accurate portrayal.

Some great performances, particularly from the brother-priest who can barely look at his gay brother and partner. You feel you just want to say, for crying out loud just let it go, love your brother. Made me hate religion and uptight western culture even more. What would persuade him to withhold his love from his brother ? His interpretation of the bible ? His need to be right or "good" ... hells teeth !

Constantly throughout the film I kept wondering about the characters and the casting and the portrayals. The sister, who is slim and beautiful has an obese, sweaty husband who is borderline special- needs. He is needy, annoying and displays charm only on his own terms. I wondered whether we were supposed to say in our minds, oh look the priest-brother accepts him as his sister's partner with no apparent difficulty and yet the gay brother's partner is very much in question.

I wondered about the looks of the gay brother compared to the looks of his partner. Was the partner deliberately chosen for his looks and if so, what are we to read into that? If you haven't seen this film, the gay brother is slim perfect featured super white teeth. His partner is over weight unshaven with a gaped grin. Not to say he isn't quite charming and a wonderful person, I just felt manipulated by this question.

The women in the film are all strong and warm, especially the priests wife, beautifully played with an almost unscripted style of delivery. Not only has she to love her godly husband but love his brother too and embrace the gay man that he is. Her dogged determination not to let her husband get away with a single syllable that is against they gay brother is breath-taking, both in its scripting and delivery.

I expected to feel tearful watching the film but I didn't, I think that is testament to the light and yet unflinching direction and closely written script.

Definitely a film to watch and think about.


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