The Talent Given Us
The Talent Given Us (2004)

Fact and fiction begin to blur in this comedy drama in which a filmmaker casts his parents, his siblings, and himself in a story loosely adapted from their own lives and personalities. Judy and Allen Wagner (played by Judy Wagner and Allen… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: June 11, 2004
DVD Release Date: March 7, 2006
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Critic Score: 59% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The Talent Given Us is an odd hybrid of reality and fiction, but works due to its engaging characters.

Damon Smith
Time Out

Faux documentary, home movie or unexpurgated family therapy? The Talent Given Us, a funny, surprising ride with a mercurial New York clan, is all three.

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Tom Long
Detroit News

Ultimately, the movie isn't as strong as the idea behind the movie, or the people inside that idea.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

It's a self-indulgent, utterly painful film that attempts to explore all sorts of genres, but it fails.

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Christopher Kelly
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

[A] one-of-a-kind movie that sends the family road-trip genre happily spinning into these self-obsessed, overanalytical times; it's National Lampoon's Vacation as re-imagined by Dr. Phil.

Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press

What initially seems hard to watch, even excruciating at times, becomes hard not to, a fascinating fiction that seems to be more real than just about any actual documentary you can imagine.

Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International

The ranting, whining, kvetching, self-involved family begins to outstay its welcome [...] so that time spent with them can feel like entrapment at a raucous bar mitzvah reception.

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Shauna Lyon
New Yorker

The notion that there is no escape from one's family is elevated-and ameliorated-by the inkling that the Wagners' story is, in fact, real.

Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune

If you enjoy HBO's cult hit Curb Your Enthusiasm, you're almost guaranteed to enjoy this bawdy, heartbreaking, deeply discomfiting mockumentary.

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Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

The unwashed talent and originality of "The Talent Given Us" makes it a compelling and fascinating film.

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