Pieces of April (2003)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Pieces of April transcends its small-scale setting and budget with endearing performances, playful humor, and genuine sweetness, resulting in a touching holiday treat.

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Movie Info

April Burns is a wild, 21-year-old young woman with a very big problem. Against her own better judgment, she's invited her estranged, straight laced family for Thanksgiving dinner. Her boyfriend, Bobby, wants to help, but she banishes him from the apartment while she attempts to cook the meal. To make matters worse, she then discovers that her oven doesn't work. So, while April is forced to ask her eccentric neighbors for help in cooking her fifteen pound turkey, the Burns Family begins a reluctant journey from suburban Pennsylvania toward New York City's Lower East Side. April's Dad, Jim Burns tries to convince the family that the day will be beautiful. However, her mom, Joy, has her doubts and freely voices them. April's teenage sister and brother are squeezed between Grandma Dottie, and a bag of snacks in the back seat, as the Burns' family car hurtles toward Manhattan--and what will most likely be disaster.
Rating:
PG-13 (for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Katie Holmes
as April Burns
Patricia Clarkson
as Joy Burns
Oliver Platt
as Jim Burns
Derek Luke
as Bobby
Sean Hayes
as Wayne
Alison Pill
as Beth Burns
John Gallagher Jr.
as Timmy Burns
Alice Drummond
as Grandma Dottie
Lillias White
as Evette
Sisqo
as Latrell
Vitali Baganov
as Half Asleep Man
Adrian Martinez
as Man in Mohair Sweater
Jamari Richardson
as Boy on Bicycle
Leila Danette
as Woman in Stairwell
Stephen Chen
as Lee Loung Tan
Sally Leung Bayer
as Lee Quong Tan
Marcus Lovett
as Parade Announcer
Jack Chen
as Lee Quong
Jacqueline Dai
as Lee Lang
Rosa Luo
as Lee Wai Yam
Birdie M. Hale
as Woman Outside Bodega
Christine Todino
as Waitress
Anney Giobbe
as Young Mother
Elizabeth Douglass
as Young Girl
Rusty Dewees
as Joy's Biker Guy
Vincent Roselli
as Timmy's Biker Guy
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Critic Reviews for Pieces of April

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (38)

Laughter and poignancy go hand in hand in this DV debut whose comedy that may be standard, but never ceases to deliver sharp, dark laughs.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Pieces of April is built around the tired premise of a dysfunctional family's Thanksgiving get-together, but -- surprise -- it's fresh.

August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Longer on calculating sourness than on psychologically organic wit.

Full Review… | February 5, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

It's in the cross-cutting between April's disaster-prone preparations and her family's turbulent journey that Hedges's movie finds its lively and likeable rhythm.

Full Review… | November 14, 2003
Toronto Star
Top Critic

This is one of those quietly wonderful films that really deserves an audience.

November 11, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

The film more than earns its heartwarming finale by virtue of the skilled performances of the leads.

November 7, 2003
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pieces of April

½

A one part great movie and one part bad movie. The storylines of Derek Luke and Katie Holmes are perfect and extremely well done, while the scenes with the family are the same cliche seen over and over. I think what also works extremely well is the cinematography and documentary look. It feels like you're living in this apartment building and taking a look at a real place rather than fiction. Overall, it works. It's just not as good as it theoretically could have been.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

I've wanted to see this movie for a while. It was definitely enjoyable. I'm starting to like these quirky, independent, true-to-life movies more than the big action blockbusters actually. You could feel the awkwardness of both sides of the family through the television.

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer

Katie Holmes was impressive. I love that Peter Hedges takes the simple event of Thanksgiving dinner and paints an extremely thorough picture of it. Quirky and delicious.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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