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"Familiar Strangers" asks the question. "Is it really possible to relate to ones parents and siblings after being replaced by the family dog? . . . Perhaps as friends - weird friends?" An off beat - funny - heartfelt story of family negotiating the changing relationships between parents and children, especially as those children grow into adulthood.Written by
Familiar Strangers tells the story of the Worthington's family. Brian ( Shawn Hatosy) is the older brother who left a long time ago to pursue his dreams and ambitions. He ended up writing a technical book but feels like he hasn't archived much.When he returns home, he tries to re-connect with his family but his father Frank (Tom Bower ) is still angry at him for leaving and not helping with the family business, his brother Kenny (DJ Qualls) refuses to grow up,his sister Erin (Cameron Richardson) is falling to pieces after a failed marriage and his mother Dottie (Ann Dowd) is trying to keep the family together. On top of this,Frank seems to have replaced his estranged son with a dog. The Worthington's manage to re-connect over a game of donkey ball and Brian tries to help his family as much as he can before he leaves again.Familiar Strangers seemed to have all the right ingredients but didn't really worked. This small indie tries to capture the everyday life and the family dynamics but due to some awkward dialog and bad direction it falls flat.The script is not very solid and the narrative seems to disperse every now and then. Also Shawn Hatosy character lacks charisma and personality which makes hard to relate to him. Good performance by Tom Bower as Frank,the patriarch though. In conclusion, a weak and poorly directed film that had some potential but didn't deliver.
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