Parents' Guide to

Introducing the Dwights

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Uneven dysfunctional family dramedy for adults.

Movie R 2007 108 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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Blethyn ably maneuvers in a role that careens from "raunchy homemaker" (the name of Jean's act) to terminally disappointed and lonely empty-nester. It's an existence her character is anxious to avoid but can't. It's an admirable turn -- loud, brassy and selfish -- but only just. When the laughs finally give way to tears, you do feel sorry for her.

Booth makes a worthy foe for Blethyn's Jean -- her Jill is insecure but determined to make her relationship work -- and Chittenden is persuasive enough as the devoted son who finally lives for himself, despite the costs. (Wilson, meanwhile, gets an A for effort but strays out of character so often that it's distracting.) But despite its mostly strong performances and fine script, the film can't quite get the crowd on its feet. Its tone shifts awkwardly: Is it a comedy about familial love and hate? A realistic study of mother-in-law/future-daughter-in-law jealousy? A tragedy about lives not lived enough? And the ending is all too trite for a movie that exhibits, at moments, such delicious bite.

Movie Details

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