On the day of their Father's 70th birthday party, four siblings come to terms with the publication of a novel written by the youngest sibling, that exposes the family's most intimate secrets.Written by
Taraji P Henson and Octavia Spencer will later appear together in Hidden Figures. See more »
Henry Meyerwitz had never wanted any children. But when he had his first, he remembered an old proverb. Commit a sin twice and it will not seem a crime. So he had more. And once a year, his sins, all grown up, gathered to celebrate his birthday. He didn't want to be there. They didn't want to be there. This year however, a book came out that made it even worse.
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A PEEP into the lives of yet another dysfunctional family.
Peep World is like (almost) all of the other dysfunctional family movies I have ever come across. It has a very short tun-time (79 minutes) and a decent cast (with some surprisingly good dramatic performances turned in by some comedic actors). It also is NOT overly compelling as not many of the characters are endearing or engrossing.
A terribly-cold and downright mean-mean-mean father (Ron Rifkin - LA Confidential, Boiler Room, The Sum of All Fears) is having a celebratory birthday dinner with his four adult children in attendance. None of the kids are overly fond of their financially-successful father just as he appears to be none-too-proud of any of his offspring.
Setting the siblings at odds with one another is the success the youngest has found (Ben Schwartz - Everybody's Fine, The Other Guys) after writing a scathing novel that is being made into a movie that exposes and ridicules his entire family (save their father).
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter", "Six Feet Under") plays the oldest brother who always "tries to be there for his siblings" even as his marriage is slowly falling apart (his pregnant wife is played by a surprisingly dramatic Judy Greer - 13 Going on 30, Elizabethtown, 27 Dresses); Rainn Wilson ("The Office", Super, Sahara) is the irresponsible and lazy middle brother while the lone girl is a Drama Queen actress played by a manic and most-angry Sarah Silverman (Funny People, Jesus Is Magic, School for Scoundrels). The youngest appears to be the father's favorite simply because of his recent success and each of the kids KNOW this.
If the story had remained tight and dedicated to the family dinner, I think Peep World (the name of the exposing novel AND a strip club in the film) would have been more successful. As is (after the film's opening scene of the dinner toast, the film "rewinds" some 16 hours or so) the film easily loses itself and becomes more bitter at times than entertaining (Silverman's anger is understood; but it becomes trying and tiring).
For a film of such short-length, the cast is too extensive as it also includes Lesley Ann Warren (Clue, Twin Falls Idaho, Victor/Victoria), Alicia Witt (Mr. Holland's Opus, Vanilla Sky, The Upside of Anger), Taraji P. Henson (... Benjamin Button, Hustle & Flow, The Karate Kid), Kate Mara (Brokeback Mountain, 127 Hours, Iron Man 2) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, Freaky Friday, Memento) and they are spread too thin to become heavily concerned with/by any of them (although it is always nice seeing Miss Scarlet now and again).
As there are TOO MANY dysfunctional family films in existence, one has to really stand-out to be worthy of recommendation ... and Peep World unfortunately does NOT. While there is a fun peek/peep here-and-there -- and Michael C. Hall and Judy Greer make an interesting/believable struggling duo (and woot! to Greer going dramatic again) -- Peep World isn't worth the price of admission OR the cost of the fictional book.
It is short-enough for it to not be a waste-of-time for a viewer but not everyone will think it is worth a peep either.
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