Fireflies in the Garden
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Fireflies in the Garden
To an outsider, the Taylors are the very picture of the successful American family: Charles (Willem Dafoe) is a tenured professor on track to become university president, son Michael (Ryan Reynolds) is a prolific and well-known romance novelist, daughter Ryne (Shannon Lucio) is poised to enter a prestigious law school, and on the day we are introduced to them, matriarch Lisa (Julia Roberts) will graduate from college-decades after leaving to raise her children. But when a serious accident interrupts the celebration, the far more nuanced reality of this Midwestern family's history and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This histrionic family drama must have looked good on paper to attract such a big-name cast, but on the screen it comes off as glib, rushed, and underdeveloped."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"A dispiriting rehash of dysfunctional family clichés that seems to last longer than Thanksgiving Day dinner."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Uneven drama about unhappy family, including tragedy."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"This stale drama is finally getting a limited release and will prove just how limited it is to the poor saps who pay to see it."
‑ Brian Tallerico,
"The constant shifting between past and present is handled so badly that it adds absolutely nothing to the proceedings."
‑ Peter Sobczynski,
"The emotional effectiveness varies from moment to moment between not pushing too hard or simply not pulling hard enough."
‑ William Goss,
"The actors are all good and a few scenes -- an opening family argument, a crucial battle when Michael finally fights back -- are painfully moving."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"Julia Roberts plays ultra-sensitive artiste Ryan Reynolds' noble mother-and that should basically tell you all you need to know about this misguided soapy bunch of bollocks which somehow made its way off the shelf into theatres."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"An unrelentingly grim drama about yet another dysfunctional family."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"It just comes off a little false."
‑ Grae Drake,
"A dreadful exercise in navel-gazing that resides in a particularly trite corner of Pat Conroy-ville."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"The relationships are lived-in and complex, with the same hopelessness that we find in real life. People don't change."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"This locally shot weeper is unhappy in myriad ways, few of which manage to coalesce around its heart-stung core."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"Just when you're hitting your tolerance breaking point for these people and their nonstop bellyaching and yelling and baffling hatred for one another, the equally baffling reconciliation kicks in. What just happened?"
‑ Dave White,
"Those who naturally gravitate to this syrupy genre shouldn't be disappointed, as Fireflies in the Garden is consistent with tender moments and agonized recollections."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
More reviews for Fireflies in the Garden on Rotten Tomatoes

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