It would be ripe territory for self-reflection if this sloppy debut from filmmaker Anne Renton weren't plagued with as much self-doubt and uncertainty as its lead Catholic.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The film's gentle, sentimental approach prevents it from ever really getting at the pain that's been swirling around this imperfect family for years.
| Original Score: 4.5/10
This Kathleen Turner vehicle is a stiff, a picture with so little urgency that it drags on like a sermon without end, with all the flavor of a communion wafer.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Turner seems stifled by the joyless role of a woman whose only purpose is to be taught the error of her sanctimonious ways.
| Original Score: 2/5
An anodyne tale of family-centered acceptance that's neither comical when it wants to be nor touching when it strivers for pathos.
| Original Score: 1/4
Turner's interactions with Deschanel are so much weightier than the rest of the film that the other storylines seem extraneous.
| Original Score: C
The film's single saving grace is Turner, who channels that legendary Catholic guilt like there is no tomorrow.
Turner is terrific, but The Perfect Family doesn't know quite what to do with her energy, eventually taking on so much surplus woe, there's no chance for a clean exit.
The Perfect Family seems to resist introspective pit stops, cruising toward its tidy resolution with a host of missed opportunities in its wake.
| Original Score: 6.5/10
A resolutely middle-of-the-road affair that never locates and communicates a very persuasive reason for its existence, or even a compelling dramatic throughline. A cinematic 'meh' if ever there were one.
| Original Score: C-
[Turner's] performance is the deepest and truest element in this shallow feel-good movie about the clash between gay rights and Catholic orthodoxy in a generic suburban town...
At the most fundamental level, as a work of entertainment, it fails. Scenes meander pointlessly, beginning and ending without any change or story movement.
It's hard not to wish that it had taken a few more chances and explored its certainly relevant themes a little more deeply.
Renton's competing tones and intentions result in a film at odds with itself and its lead performance.
We need more of Turner onscreen, so I hesitate to criticize when she finally appears. But the truth is that she's sadly underutilized in Renton's debut.
The trailers make it look like an irreverent, iconoclastic satire; in fact it's dramatic - when it isn't dull and obvious.
A leaden, ham-fisted affair that was exactly the sort of pap John Waters was spoofing when he cast Turner as a serial-killing soccer mom.
| Original Score: 2/4
Turner's complex and heart-wrenching performance provides a window into the life of a woman dedicated to the values and commitments her church dictates, even during her family's darkest times.
| Original Score: B-
Doesn't get all the Catholic details right but still presents the church's rituals and parish politics more seriously than most movies.
| Original Score: B