Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (20)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (18)
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.
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.
Another around-the-bend black comedy that doesn't work.
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.
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.
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