In Our Nature (2012)
When Brooklynite Seth (Zach Gilford) takes his girlfriend Andie (Jena Malone) to his family's weekend house in upstate New York for a romantic getaway, they are unexpectedly joined by his estranged father Gil (John Slattery), and his much-younger new girlfriend, Vicky (Gabrielle Union). The women carefully negotiate emotional minefields as they persuade father and son to share the house for the first time since the summer vacations of Seth's childhood. This unexpected family reunion in the great outdoors, fraught with tensions old and new, pushes them all to realize the bonds of family are always stronger and stranger than expected. -- (C) Cinedigm … More
as Visiting Father
as Visiting Mother
as Little Girl
as Little Boy
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Critics Consensus: Playing for Keeps Misses the Mark
– Rotten Tomatoes
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Critic Reviews for In Our Nature
The characters in this family drama are not given enough backstory or nuance to make their problems feel real, and none of the characters warrants much interest or compassion.
The movie earns high grades for allowing four strong actors to work their way through some basic but interesting obstacles that must of us can relate to in one way or another.
In Our Nature's visual style seems plastered on or allocated, not developed with any sort of authorial singularity.
The confessions and conflicts that bubble up feel real and lived, if overly familiar to connoisseurs of that dreaded genre known as the dysfunctional-family drama.
Brian Savelson generally eschews emotional fireworks to create this small and intimate study of how difficult it is to repair broken relationships while trying to preserve those that look promising.
Beautifully observed characterizations and fine performances enliven this sometimes static drama about an unexpected family reunion.
In Our Nature lumbers a lot, especially early on, as Savelson introduces the cast and has Gilford and Slattery keep coming up with weak excuses to stall the movie's premise from kicking in.
During their "getting to know you" scene, Seth asks Vicky, "Is everybody that predictable?" As far as In Our Nature goes, it would seem so.
Savelson can't seem to mount a head of steam, and his chamber piece feels underdeveloped.
A drama filled with the same kind of emotional fireworks that animate the gripping familial interactions in works by Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill.
Yes, the pacing of In Our Nature is slow, and drags near the film's halfway point, but the top-notch ensemble propels the film forward, adding complexity to the characters while leaving the over-the-top melodrama for Lifetime.
Like Carnage it gets off to a rocky start in keeping all its protagonists from leaving the movie. But if you can make it past that - and John Slattery helps a bunch - Brian Savelson's film settles into a nicely mature story about airing grievances.
Savelson's approach feels old-fashioned and perhaps even a little stodgy.
Audience Reviews for In Our Nature
For an independent drama with only four characters set in the woods, the film flows nicely, allowing enough character development and spot on performances to allow for thorough engagement. Slattery defines a separated father, both tiptoeing around his son whom he hardly sees and taking out his aggravations, misplaced or not. His connection to the material is undeniable, bringing to life certain lines like "why can't you be happy for me" and a scene involving marijuana and Jena Malone. The only actor who lets his performance slide is Gilford, whose blank stares and quiet deliveries make for an uneven and almost stale exhibition. However, the ladies cover this up as best they can, with a more involved approach, stealing the show several times. Calm and quaint like the characters' surroundings, "In Our Nature" is a strong emotional drama exploring the differences and similarities between blossoming relationships in the era of divorce that we live in. There's no need for melodrama or heightened realities, no extremes or unexpected twists, just life, begging the question how much this relates to the director's life. Pleasant and never boring, Savelson sets the bar high for a follow-up.More
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