An uptight New Yorker and his party girl sister visit their Dad's lake house to meet his new wife, and rough-around-the-edges kids. When the parents announce they're adopting a child to ...
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An uptight New Yorker and his party girl sister visit their Dad's lake house to meet his new wife, and rough-around-the-edges kids. When the parents announce they're adopting a child to bring the family together, it has the opposite effect.Written by
Quadrant Motion Pictures
In the bar fight, they use a set of nunchaku, but the movie takes place in Canada where nunchaku are illegal weapons and not available to buy or allowed to be used. See more »
It's Going Down (Clean Version)
Performed by Viceversah
Written by James Rand, Janos Fulop
Courtesy of APM Music, LLC. See more »
This movie shot for more than it could handle, in my opinion. It looks like it was intended to be a dysfunctional family comedy like The Family Stone or many other "homecoming" style movies about holidays or meeting the new spouse or whatnot -- there are many movies in this category.
But the overall tone of the movie is less comedy than of a kind of hollow absurdity. The actors appear to have been told to inhabit the script as if it were a Chekhov play. As if the inherently ridiculous things that were happening could be played straight without real- world consequences or effective symbolism.
In a comedy, with a sufficiently comedic tone, those ridiculous moments could be forgiven as just being ridiculous, and you can laugh at the absurdity of it along with (or at) the characters. But they instead try and play those moments off as just that much more extreme moments of personal humiliation that have driven their characters' failures. And instead of exploring those particular ideas, the narrative plods right along as if it were a comedy, almost completely ignoring these moments for the rest of the movie. And the characters tend to drag us down along with them. It gets difficult to watch sometimes because of this awkwardness. This may have been intentional, I don't know. It's certainly possible to blend these elements and have the result come out really well, and you have to give props to the filmmakers for trying, but it's just not there.
There are some pretty good performances here if you can look past its flaws. Lahti is fabulous, as is Chriqui. Ritter is what you might call serviceable -- he seems to be projecting that same sort of awkward conflict between seriousness and comedy -- but he at least seems to get it, whatever that "it" might be in this case. And although the writing gets a little flimsy and self-satisfied at times, it's mostly pretty entertaining. Just don't expect a whole lot.
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