Family

BNC-06732.ARW

Taylor Schilling (The Overnight, Argo, Orange is the New Black) plays Kate Stone, a horrible boss in smart power suits, who hates all her employees. They hate her, too. She even says, “I hate everyone, and I think I’m better than everyone else.”

She’ll complain about staff workers having a small baby shower at work, but will go over and grab a piece of cake; and not think twice about telling the pregnant employee that she’s been taken off a big account because of the baby.

This is the debut film by Laura Steinel, and it’s formulaic and utterly unrealistic. Nothing Kate does, or most of the characters in this movie, feels like anything they would do in real life. She would’ve been fired or sued. Her brother (Eric Edelstein), who doesn’t have a good relationship with her, wouldn’t call on her to babysit their daughter for a few days. Not to mention the fact that, you could explain your dilemma over the phone, instead of making her drive all the way to your place to then sucker her into babysitting for a day or two. And when the beginning of the movie starts with all that, you’ll just roll your eyes at it all. This would’ve been a much better movie if it was grounded in reality, and dealt with a working woman that was mean and had a lot on her plate. Not the goofy trope that a child in her life helps to change her in a more positive way. It can still be a comedy. The jokes just needed to be better. Sure, we laugh every time Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) shows up as the neighborhood nuisance telling Kate what she’s doing wrong. A comedy needs more than a wacky neighbor character, though.

It’s baffling to think that a brother would call his sister over, she’d take a long drive to get there (perhaps hours), only to be told she’s spending a day or two watching his daughter, Maddie (Bryn Vale). So Kate has no overnight bag, can’t do any work she might have wanted to do at home, etc. And you can guess the types of jokes this situation brings. Also, it’s hard to say the story arc even works, with the always angry and aloof girl is supposed to be 11-years-old.

It’s weird how almost every scene in this movie felt like something that wouldn’t happen. For example, the way a boy at a convenient store so quickly takes an interest in her. Another being, the fact that this aunt would just let this kid do the things she does.

Kate also doesn’t have much depth to her. That makes it hard to ever really care about her, or the little girl, who we should be rooting for. Her parents seem a bit dull, and don’t realize she’d rather be in karate class than ballet. No worries, there’s a cool aunt that will let you drink Red Bull and eat lots of unhealthy snacks.

The film had too many quirky characters, with nobody acting the way people act (unless they were in a sitcom).

I was also distracted by the fact that all through the movie, I kept thinking Schilling looked like Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

My wife and I both disliked this movie.

1 star out of 5.

 

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