Time: 103 mins.
SYNOPSIS: After losing her job, making out with her soon to be ex-boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson has to face spending the holiday with her family.
BOTTOM LINE: The word "family" dredges up many different emotions, much like this film, Foster's second directorial effort. It runs the gamut from happy to sad, annoying to outrageous over the course of one long Thanksgiving Day. Holly Hunter plays a single mother with more problems than she can handle (teenage daughter, trouble at work), yet she returns home with hope in her heart that this year will be different. As much as she loves her crazy parents, played impeccably by Charles Durning and Anne Bancroft, they still treat her like a child, which is comforting and irritating all at the same time. Between the silent rage of her uptight younger sister (Stevenson) and the not so secret romantic delusions of her spacey aunt (Geraldine Chaplin), she's not sure she can make it through the festivities. Same bitterness and jealousy, different year.
The one person to bring her joy her brother Tommy (Downey) is also a royal pain in the butt. Things go exactly as she expects them to a beautiful meal ruined by anger, pettiness and regret. Only this year, she gets an unexpected treat: a sweet flirtation with the lusciously handsome Dylan McDermott. While he doesn't swoop in and save her from her troubles, he does give her hope that some of life's surprises are good. The cast does a great job creating interesting characters and honest situations you will recognize from your own holiday travails. If you have one of those perfect families, this is probably not the film for you. For everyone else, you'll find plenty to relate to and laugh at.