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Review Home for the Holidays (1995): Family, can't live with them can't live without them.

genre: comedy, drama





Meet Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter). On the day she finally connected with a painting while restoring it she gets fired and in a desperate motion she kisses her 60 year old boss. And her teen daughter informs her she is ready to have sex and lose her virginity. To make things worse this is the day she is going home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family.

I think a lot of people will be able to relate how Claudia feels. Even if you love your family to death there will always be things about them that will rile you up or make you feel awkward. You might have a quirky aunt like Aunt Glady (Geraldine Chaplin) who doesn't hide the fact she is in love with her sister's husband. Or the stuck up sister like Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson) who can't take a joke and seems disconnected from you and everyone for some unknown reason. I am sure most families will have that one family member who is a joker (in this case Tommy played by Robert Downey Jr. and never seems to take things lightly. Although we do get to see a brief moment where he is sincere and serious and apparently is a side he does not dare to show. And then there are the parents. Parents who can nag you to death one minute and be incredibly sweet the next. Who has not been confused by that?

I liked how Jodie Foster directed this film. She did not force issues upon us. She did not go to deep into matters because for the most part most of the events take part in one or two days so realistically speaking you can't devote that much time to solving problems. Now I do think that the romantic angle with Dylan McDermott's character and Claudia did feel like it was shoved in but the chemistry between them was enough to win me over and accept it. The cast does a great job of showing us a normal family having dinner. And yes I say they are normal because even the most normal have their nasty habits and mannerisms. 

Home for the Holidays for the most part is light and hilarious. But it's the subtle kind and not slapstick comedy. It's the characters who will be providing the laughs. Still it's not all fun and games. There a few dramatic moments no matter how brief maybe will sting or get to you a little.

Overall I found this to be a delightful little film that is even more enjoyable around the Holidays. Certainly worth your time.  







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