So many problems, it's a wonder any family copes? They strive, they work their way through?
There is unpleasantness, we see it coming, we watch it develop, but the director keeps the scenes short, so the unpleasantness fades and we move on to the next scary issue. That's a great way to deal with it.
So, why the 10 rating? Because it is so real. They are real problems, a real story of coping, real people. And my other requirements for a 10, some especially good scenes, and examples of really good dialogue. It's all here.
Ned (Schreiber) is a writer for a shock-horror TV show, and must be quite good at it, even though he doesn't really like the attitudes. He is trying to cope with eldest son who wants to go to a 'gay prom'. That would try any parent. His wife (Hunt) has her father (Dennehy) come to live with them. He is declining, and demanding. Very unpleasant mostly. Scary too, we all will (or might) get old and others will have to cope.
The plot has the potential to go really awful, but great directing and superb acting achieve so much. Any of us could face similar issues, and how would we cope? Badly maybe.
Getting the best from child actors takes patience, persistence and careful guidance - director Levine has done a great job here. And Levine has written some great lines too, Ernie at the rest home... "We're all just visiting". A profound thought for us to ponder.
Although the DVD blurb says 'fast and funny', there is only one really funny part - when Ned at first says his cut face came from hitting his steering wheel, but then he explains the real reason and you should see the surprise on the faces of his boss and work colleagues! Great.
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