I am sure most of you have perfectly lovely families and are on the verge of having the best Christmas EVER! Beautifully wrapped presents, sparkling and meaningful conversations and delicious foods made with care. Ahhhhhh, the glory of the holidays! But for the rest of us, I thought I would suggest some great films that make us glad for the families we have. You think your family is dysfunctional!? Watch these films and you will be glad to be with your family over the holidays!
Grey Gardens (DVD): Money doesn’t matter where dysfunction is involved! Edith and “Little Edie" Beale, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. Whether you watch the 1975 documentary of the actual Beales or the 2009 movie starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, this is dysfunction at its entertaining best!
Ordinary People (DVD): A young Timothy Hutton plays Conrad, the son of Calvin and Beth Jarrett, two of the most disconnected parents you’ll ever see. Conrad was involved in an accident which caused his brother’s death leaving him with various mental disorders stemming from the event. Both parents clearly loved their other son more and in a way resent Conrad for still being alive. Instead of properly grieving, they shut off their emotions and act as if everything is normal.
The Ref (DVD): Anything with Denis Leary in it is pretty unorthodox, isn't it? Well, add to the mix a bumbling thief, a married couple (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) who can't stand each other, and a hostage situation on Christmas Eve and you get the most dysfunctional Christmas film of all time.
Royal Tenenbaums (DVD): Royal and Etheline Tenenbaum are the separated parents of two sons and an adopted daughter. Richie (Luke Wilson) is a tennis playing artist who has an affinity for hawks, Chas (Ben Stiller) is a paranoid father of two who constantly thinks death is at his door, and Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a playwright with a missing finger, and a secret smoking habit. Royal was a terrible husband and an even worse father, so how does he make it up to his family? He lies about having cancer to try and reconnect with his family. Dysfunction with a capital D (One of my favorite films! Oh so amusing!)
May your days be merry and bright….and all your family events NOT be like the ones in these films! Happy holidays!