One line summary: The surfacing of truth is a painful process.
Henry Meyerwitz has four grown children: Jack, the architect; Joel, the lawyer who took 8 times to pass the bar exam; Cheri, the failed artist/actress; Nathan, the writer, who is seven years younger than Cheri. Henry is distant and imperious. Jack is tasked each year with paying for an expensive dinner in honor of Henry's birthday.
By Henry's seventieth birthday, family relations have gone from being tense and dysfunctional to harsh and confrontational. The main reason for this change is the wide success of Nathan's book Peep World, which is more than a bit too biographical for the comfort of Cheri, Joel, and Jack. To make things worse, Jack's business and revenue have shrunk, Joel's legal career is at a snail's pace, and Cheri's career is going nowhere. The topper is that Henry has a new girl friend Amy, who is the actress that plays Cheri in the film of Nathan's book.
In the hours leading up to the seventieth birthday dinner, the slow burns of the principal characters are exposed. At the dinner, they burst out, capped by Henry's speech returning all their fire.
Will the family gain some cohesion out of all this?
Cinematography: 8/10 Well shot for the most part; on Netflix it seemed to have some intervals of focus that was too soft.
Sound: 7/10 No particular problems, but I thought the sound could have been more of an asset to the film than it was.
Acting: 8/10 The large cast included several skilled actors doing fine work.
Screenplay: 5/10 The threads came together well at the end, but I thought the film would have been better without a narrator. Just to be clear, most of the laughs I got out of the film were from Lewis Black's expert delivery--as the narrator. The film was billed as a comedy; why should most of the humor come from the narrator's performance?