Saturday 26 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family

Even if her movie does not, Kathleen Turner shines as the moralistic matriarch at the head of 'The Perfect Family.'

Rod Lott May 9th, 2012

The Perfect Family
5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

The joke of The Perfect Family, of course, is that no such thing exists. Yet in the film, just as in real life, some people put on airs that suggest otherwise.

The situation at the heart of this dramedy — running Friday through Mother’s Day at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art — is timely, if also a bit made-for-TV.

1980s sex symbol Kathleen Turner gets her first leading role in a decade as passive-agressive wife and mother Eileen Cleary. So deeply involved she is in her Catholic parish that her priest (Richard Chamberlain, in dead-on casting — nudge, wink) nominates Eileen for the Catholic Woman of the Year award. At the ceremony, the winner will receive absolution of all sins from the visiting archbishop of Dublin.

Eileen looks to be a shoo-in, with the only thing standing in her way being her longtime nemesis (Sharon Lawrence, TV’s Drop Dead Diva), dating back to third grade. Well, that and the true nature of Eileen’s family members, which she not only tries to suppress, but ignore and deny:
• that her husband (Michael McGrady, TV’s Southland) is a recovering alcoholic;
• that her daughter (Emily Deschanel, TV’s Bones) is a pregnant lesbian; and
• that her son (Jason Ritter, TV’s Parenthood) is divorcing a wife he doesn’t love for a salon owner he does.

“Who cares if you’re happy?” Eileen says at family dinner. “You need to do the right thing.”

Of course, they are doing the right thing, simply by being true to themselves. It’s Eileen who’s the hypocrite, as are fellow parishioners pressuring her into an unrealistic ideal.

Anne Renton’s directorial debut has lots of things to say about wrapping one’s hatred under a cloak bearing the label of Christianity; I only wish she had confronted them without becoming so ... well, preachy. Subtle, the film is not, despite its Hallmark-card veneer.

It’s also not a bad film — just a mediocre one. The real reason to see it would be for a reminder of Turner’s acting talent.

For a better movie opening this weekend that also explores the friction of family — and with a prize at stake, at that — the Cannes winner Footnote is scheduled for an exclusive run at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial. It’d actually make a great thematic double feature with Perfect, albeit with 14 miles between them.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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