Familiar Strangers (2008)
40% of critics liked it
46% of users liked it
A dysfunctional family from rural Virginia contends with conflict, ritual, and communication as the grown-up son who has moved away and kept his distance returns home to spend Thanksgiving weekend with the parents and siblings he once left behind in director Zackary Adler's offbeat comedy. When… More A dysfunctional family from rural Virginia contends with conflict, ritual, and communication as the grown-up son who has moved away and kept his distance returns home to spend Thanksgiving weekend with the parents and siblings he once left behind in director Zackary Adler's offbeat comedy. When Brian Worthington (Shawn Hatosy) left home some years ago, he and his father, Frank (Tom Bower), weren't exactly on the best of terms. Time doesn't necessarily heal all wounds, and when Frank lost the ability to connect with his maturing children, he began replacing them with pets that would never "grow up" and always remain loyal. Now that Brian has returned, it doesn't take him long to realize not much has changed: his mother, Dottie (Ann Dowd), is still the glue that holds them together, his twentysomething brother, Kenny (DJ Qualls), still hasn't struck out on his own, and his sister, Erin (Cameron Richardson), is struggling to recover from a messy divorce while raising her young daughter, Maddy (Georgia Mae Lively), who seems to possess an unusual wisdom for her age. As the big donkey basketball game draws near, Brian reconnects with pretty family friend Allison (Nikki Reed) and gets pressured into killing the one member of the family that his father seems to love more than his own flesh and blood -- the family dog Argus. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat
One assumes writer John Bell isn't plagued with a family full of neurotics like, say, Noah Baumbach, so while his movie manages to rise above cliche, it doesn't have very far to go beyond that.
Fresh (60% or more critics rated the movie positively)
Rotten (59% or fewer critics rated the movie positively)