Charming and sometimes quirky The Perfect Family invests its fine acting force in a story that most moviegoers and TV viewers should already recognize. More of a Saturday afternoon TV matinée for the ladies, the film just didn’t do it for me. Although I did like Kathleen Turner’s performance it’s not enough to carry the film.
The story centers on a Christian devotee Eileen Cleary (Kathleen Turner) who has just been nominated for “Catholic Woman of the Year” an award that’s only given once a year. Her opposition Agnes Dunn (Sharon Lawrence) doesn’t seem to be worried especially since she has a few popular Christian projects ready to help her get noticed. But, Eileen feels that her past record speaks for itself, until her daughter announces she’s wants to get married to a lesbian and her son decides to seek a divorce from his wife.
The movie gets played out like an A&E or Lifetime afternoon movie with all the family problems and issues that accompany today’s lifestyles. I must commend the cast for an excellent job of portraying the interesting characters under the first time direction of Anne Renton. Even though the film does have some snags spooling out making it seem longer than the 84 minutes, the situations seem realistic and charming.
Turner handles her character Eileen well showing a growing concern as each foot falls. With her Catholic family destroying the concepts on which the church is built, she keeps prodding along certain that her chances for the Catholic Woman of the Year award is slipping away. The comedy of it all reveals that life certainly does take some odd twists of fate but in the end we all live through them.
The Perfect Family has been Rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic material. Please note that if you want to see who wins the Catholic Woman of the Year award you will have to sit through some of the film credits for some snap shots.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A matinée for the ladies. ★★★★★★
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