It's like Tracy Letts butchered his own creation.
What a mess. Anyone could tell that this is an adaptation, which a good movie shouldn't be defined as. This is based off of a three hour play (which I haven't seen so my thoughts are totally objective) and the playwright himself adapted the film, but it totally feels like he didn't know what to leave out to achieve a two hour running time. In regards to the writing, they bring up every single conceivable domestic drama issue and implicate every single person, and it's all just so clichéd and numbing. Every time they introduce another issue, you literally groan because it's borderline outlandish and these characters don't do ANYTHING to help each other. This isn't a satire or a farce so it shouldn't be funny but they portray these people like, "Hey! Look at these silly people with their despicable personalities and endless problems!" No, these people are completely certifiable and no one tries to even care for anyone else despite the fact that they all seem to be on the verge of suicide. Nothing ever lands a laugh anyways. Next, they don't even conclude any storylines. It's not like this is the type of material that warrants interpretation, so it just comes off as lazy and incomplete. The introduce stuff just so they can heighten everyone's stress level and make everyone seem even more ridiculous and then the characters just leave and never come back. Honestly, one would think that they lost the last fifteen pages of the script. There's no emotional investment; the filmmakers just rely on the actors' talents to buoy the movie as much as they can. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were great (of course) and everyone else is good, but the rest don't get enough time or development to actually warrant their appearances. This is an extremely rare case when I'd say that a movie would have benefited from being longer, since you can tell that they gutted everything good out of the source material, leaving no universality or reality to these people. 4.5/10, bad, two thumbs down, below mediocre, etc.
This title contains:
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking