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Taking a look into a dysfunctional family is of course far more interesting than having a look at an ordinary, everyday, family who are doing- and going through everyday things. In that regard, this movie also does work out a both fun and interesting one.

While the movie is a drama, it also still definitely is an enjoyable one to watch. It's definitely a good example of a good dark comedy in my opinion, in which the movie manages to find a balance between all of its heavy themes and its more lighthearted moments and quirky characters.

Still can't say that this is a perfect or even great movie though. I'm not as in love with this movie as some people are but I admit that's also due to the fact that I'm not a big fan of movies based on stage-plays that are shot and told like an actual stage-play. And this undeniably is a movie that's based on a stage-play! Even if you have no idea about it, it should become apparent to you pretty early on already, due to the typical type of dialog, the way how things develop and get set up and with all of the settings that it's taking place at, or rather said, the lack of diversity in settings.

Especially the dialog always bothers me about these type of movies. It's never anything realistic, no matter how great the actors are who all have to deliver the lines. Something incredibly phony about watching a bunch of people utter a bunch of lines that no ordinary person would ever say in real life, under any circumstances. Maybe sounds nitpicky but it's just a beef of mine.

And because this is a movie, I also feel that it could and maybe even should have taken a bit more liberties at times. A bit more liberties so that the movie would feel less like a stage-play and more like an actual movie, with a good narrative in it. Otherwise, what's the point of turning a stage-play into a movie, other than making some more money off of it? The movie as it is feels a bit too stiff, too staged and just overall too unnatural at parts, while the story and characters themselves still remain some solid and interesting ones.

I am also not complaining too much about anything though, since the movie still worked out as a good and interesting one for me. It features multiple different small plot lines in it, aside from its main story, that especially made the movie a well layered one and engaging one. It also gave all of the many characters lots of depth. Even though you basically hardly get to know the characters, you still feel that you understand and know what they are all about.

And of course the acting doesn't disappoint either. basically all of the characters in this movie are played by some great and well known actors, no expectations. Next to Meryl Streep it's still mostly Julia Roberts who carries the movie and does this well! But really, it's still an assemble piece of course, in which every actor is given the opportunity to shine, on more than one occasion.

Even though it's not entirely my cup of tea, I still see it as a good movie, that works out as an interesting one with its story and characters and I have to say that I overall also enjoyed watching it, though some other people might end up feeling depressed afterward, due to some of its heavy themes and the way how things slowly develop and eventually get 'resolved'.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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