The Family Tree (2011)
Average Rating: 4/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 18
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 664
Life in suburban Serenity, Ohio is never quite as serene as it appears. The dysfunctional Burnett family - Bunnie (Hope Davis), Jack (Dermot Mulroney) and their twin 17 year olds Eric (Max Thieriot) and Kelly (Britt Robertson) - seems like a lost cause. When a freak accident leaves Bunnie with a case of amnesia, the Burnetts get an unexpected second chance at happiness. Meanwhile, next door neighbor Simon (Chi McBride) is relieved that his tryst gone wrong with Bunnie remains undetected, at
Aug 26, 2011 Limited
Nov 22, 2011
Entertainment One U.S. - Official Site
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Jack, Jack Burnett
Bunnie, Bunnie Burne...
Simon, Simon Krebbs
John Patrick Amedori
Rachael Leigh Cook
Vice Principal Carne...
Police Officer #1
Young Police Officer
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To judge from the talent she drew for her shaky debut, Vivi Friedman must either be very well connected or an awfully smooth talker.
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.
The Family Tree is a surprisingly funny dysfunctional family comedy that manages to entertain throughout.
...a misguided and thoroughly obnoxious piece of work that wears out its welcome almost immediately.
There are too many branches on this tree trying to give every unemployed actor in Hollywood a job.
So in the end what we are presented with is a mildly affable comedy of familial dysfunction that wants to chide the times for being both morally and emotionally obtuse. Instead, The Family Tree winds up being little more than a film uprooted.
The Family Tree is never willing to try and really understand its family, instead creating wall of surface-level quirks as shorthand for their personalities.
Davis could play a role like Bunnie in her sleep, Mulroney often seems to be asleep and the rest of the overqualified supporting cast just appears relieved that their screentime is limited.
This black comedy about a dysfunctional family strikes out on all counts: originality, wit and viewer tolerance.
Like the body of a peeping tom high school student that hangs hidden in the Burnett's tree for the duration of the film, the direction of the movie remains dangling over audiences.
Think Overboard with masturbating, asphyxiated teens, gun-toting/weed-smoking priests, lesbian high school teachers preying on her students, a parade of wasted talent, and Bow Wow.
Here's a film that consists of a hodgepodge of blah. Too many subplots are crammed into this dramedy that leaves little for emotion or laughter.
There's not much dramatic glue here to huff, leaving The Family Tree satisfying on a technical level, with external developments more captivating than internal deliberation.
It has a terrific cast of actors doing committed work; it also has a screenplay that tries so hard to be quirky that it tires itself out.
Audience Reviews for The Family Tree
- Jack: You guys were out shooting again, weren't you?
- Reverend Diggs: Your boy has a God-given talent, Mr Burnett.
- Jack: For what? Killing and maiming? Eric, you're weird enough as it is, without being some kind of a gun nut to top it off!
- Bunnie Burnett: What about our Marathon for Manic Depression
- Jack: Or Sculling for Scoliosis?
- Bunnie: Shut up, Jack!
- Jack: Roller blading for Rectal Itch? Luging for Lumbago?
- Jack: I bet we're the first family ever to be fired by our therapist.
- Bunnie: I think it shows a little too much nipple...
- Simon: Stop. Hammer time.
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