4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 16 minutes
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The power of a dysfunctional family is still irresistible, especially when Jason (co-writer Jason Foxworth) is concerned that his brother Todd (Mark Reeb) will try to steal his girlfriend Shelly (Katherine Willis), as he’s done many times before with Jason’s previous relationships. The match-up: Sensitive vs. confrontational. Todd isn’t at all uneasy saying what he wants at any moment. What starts as a reasonably peaceful Thanksgiving meal (including their father (John Jones) at the head of the table and their other brother George (Steve Zissis) at the opposite end), escalates into tensions that soon burst into all-out anger between both of them, beginning when Todd calls Jason a “momma’s boy.” Todd’s subsequent claim that Jason is adopted is almost completely out of nowhere, nearly ridiculous. What transpires after is what you wish you could have been in the room for when this was filmed, just to see how director John Bryant made all this happen. In the ensuing moments, with a hand-held camera by Mike Washlesky and startlingly strong performances by Foxworth, Reeb, and Jones, it’s hard not to watch. A crazy notion suddenly turns dramatic and there we are in the middle of it. It doesn’t matter whether Todd is correct in his claim. This fight has been raging inside both brothers for years and Bryant elevates himself and everyone else to a new height. He knows what makes riveting drama work and soon, you don’t even notice you’re watching it. You’re there.

Posted on January 23, 2006 in Reviews by

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