The Family Tree (2011)
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as Jack Burnett
as Bunnie Burnett
as Simon Krebbs
as Eric Burnett
as Kelly Burnett
as Ms. Delbo
as Reverend Diggs
as Nina Fouts
as Paul Stukey
as Josh Krebbs
as Andy Porter
as Dr. Lieberman
as Ricky Johnson
as Vice Principal Carne...
as Police Officer #1
as Young Police Officer
as Uniformed Cop
as Coach Sutton
as Bobby Overmeir
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Critic Reviews for The Family Tree
To judge from the talent she drew for her shaky debut, Vivi Friedman must either be very well connected or an awfully smooth talker.
"Mad Men" devotees may show up for Christina Hendricks, who plays Mulroney's buxom secretary. Quite the acting stretch.
Friedman's inability to successfully reconcile the film's duality undercuts an eclectic cast gamely committed to Mark Lisson's thematically ambitious, if scattered, script.
The only reason I can think of to watch Vivi Friedman's flat, satirical farce "The Family Tree" - and it's not a good enough reason - is the opportunity to play a game of spot the semi-star.
[It makes] a small case for not succumbing to nostalgic malaise -- too bad it's in a genre as played-out as [the] lead characters' passion.
Audience Reviews for The Family Tree
Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Hope Davis, Chi McBride, Max Thieriot, Brittany Robertson, Selma Blair, Keith Carradine, Bow Wow, Madeline Zima, Christina Hendricks, Jane Seymour
Director: Vivi Friedman
Summary: Finnish director Vivi Friedman makes her feature-film debut with this dark comedy about wife and mother Bunnie Burnett, who loses her memory and conveniently forgets all of her problems -- including her interracial affair with a neighbor.
My Thoughts: "This movie is pure chaotic fun. It's silly, insane, and funny. You can not take this film seriously. I mean the preacher is a gun-slinging pothead. The film in throwing up dysfunctional all over the place. So of course I loved it. The characters are a lot of fun. Definitely worth taking a look at if you like dark, dysfuctional, and quirky films."
This film reminded me on my high-school days when we were looking for crazy and shallow movies with lots of funny situations in impossible surrounding... and they will still remind us on someone while raising a middle finger to all the "traditional values" which everyone is preaching...
The dysfunctional Burnett family - Bunnie, Jack and their twin 17 year olds Eric and Kelly - were perfect set up for that type of movies... especially when a freak accident leaves Bunnie with a case of amnesia! There are all kinds of twists in this comedy in which Burnetts get an unexpected second chance at happiness. We have a slew of past relationships, kids with guns, a suicidal lesbian teacher, a very zealous gun loving preacher, misinterpreted advances, corporate down-sizing, and one fateful squirrel... they together create enough mayhem to test the resolve, sanity and future of any family, and make you laugh - at least a little bit!
Cast includes Hope Davis (Bunnie Burnett), Dermot Mulroney (Jack Burnett), Max Thieriot (Eric Burnett), Britt Robertson (Kelly Burnett), Chi McBride (Simon Krebs), Evan Ross (Josh Krebs), Keith Carradine (Reverend Diggs), Madeline Zima (Mitzy Steinbacher) but most of the time they could not show what are they capable of under the director Vivi Friedman's leadership.
The Family Tree is a movie that is such a formulaic crapfest it doesn't even deserve for me to take time out of my schedule to write-up this review of it as I already WASTED an hour and a half of my time trying to appreciate some aspect of it (Christina Hendricks is in it for all of 3 minutes in the first twelve and gone for the remainder). I couldn't find anything else here ... and I rarely say I "wasted" my time when talking about movies (I willingly watched the sequel to Garfield to review it for friends and family); but this IS time wasted. The movie takes so many swipes and swings at many hot-button topics (religion, sexuality, adultery and marriage) that it is all muddled and ridiculous. So much is thrown at this family of wretched individuals that the audience cannot even keep all of the stupid storylines straight -- none of it is reasonable or plausible. This might be one for those who want to "go back" to a nostalgic past of glory ... and this movie is everything that is wrong with that mindset.
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