On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE PERFECT FAMILY (Gravitas).
THE PERFECT FAMILY
By Amy Slotnick
THE PERECT FAMILY stars Kathleen Turner as Eileen Cleary, a devout Catholic woman who has committed more of herself to the church than to her own family. The indie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival recently and now is available in theaters and On Demand.
Opening in a confession booth, Eileen (Turner) tells the priest she is going to hell. This is at first surprising to hear from such an observant, traditional woman, but as the story unfolds we learn what she means. Eileen has been nominated for Catholic Woman of the Year and this potential honor puts her in a state of panic. Eileen’s son (Jason Ritter) is in the process of a divorce, her daughter (Emily Deschanel) is gay, pregnant and living with her partner, and her husband (Michael McGrady) is a recovering alcoholic. If the church knew any one of these things, Eileen believes she would certainly not get the award and more importantly, would be outcast from the community.
In trying to hide her family from the church vetting process, Eileen comes to terms with their less traditional choices. She reveals her own past digressions from church doctrine and ultimately chooses family over faith.
The tone of the film is sometimes overly earnest and sometimes satirical, with comedic lines from Turner delivered brilliantly, such as “I don’t have to think, I’m Catholic.” All the performances are strong, but the script only scratches the surface of relevant issues such as gay marriage, abortion and divorce in relation to Catholicism. A subplot involving Eileen’s marriage takes a strange turn at one point, when after revealing her greatest sin, Eileen’s husband admits to his involvement with it, of which she was never aware. Without spoiling this reveal, I will just say it was hard to believe and range false.
Overall, this is an enjoyable film, mostly for Turner’s performance and a great supporting cast including Emily Deschanel (BONES), Jason Ritter (PARENTHOOD), Sharon Lawrence and Michael McGrady. Its comedic tone is a bit uneven and the script doesn’t give full justice to some of the important topics covered, but is worth viewing On Demand.
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.
THE PERFECT FAMILY (Gravitas) is in your local cable movies on demand section.
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN - TRY IT
PASSIONE - TRY IT
CONCEPTION - TRY IT
PERFECT SENSE - SKIP IT
ULTRASUEDE - DEMAND IT
SLEEPING BEAUTY - RISK IT