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I always love it when a film that I knew virtually nothing about excepting having seen the previews, which I wasn’t overly impressed with, blows me away (and I don’t even like the title). In a simple word I loved this movie which was directed by Jessie Nelson from an original screenplay by Steven Rogers. The studio is marketing it as a silly comedy, but what it is, is an insightful view into family life proving once and for all that every family is dysfunctional to varying degrees. There are so many truths and hidden wisdoms to be had here that I was laughing one minute and literally crying the next. There are three Academy Award winning actors in this cast, Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton and Marisa Tomei along with John Goodman, Ed Helms, Jake Lacy (who is especially excellent), Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb and Olivia Wilde. All I can say is that this is why movies are made and why we go to them to begin with. Good storytelling, a beautiful pro-family plot (and I say this acknowledging that these are a group of the most dysfunctional people I’ve ever come across in a film), and wonderful acting. There is something here for everyone to relate to. My mother once said that as you get older your spirit really remains the same, so an eighty year old still has the spirit of an eighteen year old. There is a scene in this film between Alan Arkin and Amanda Seyfried where this came flooding back to me. I always like to review a film without revealing too much so as not to spoil the movie going experience, so all I can say is go and have the time of your life.

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