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Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Family confronts infidelity in mature but uplifting dramedy.

Movie R 2017 93 minutes
Landline Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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It might seem contradictory to say that this fresh, funny drama is simultaneously airy and charming while conveying deep messages about partnership, fidelity, and family bonds. It's not usually this much fun to watch people who are this miserable, but the characters in Landline are so quirky, cute, and real that you can't help loving them even when they're doing awful things to the people they love. Alan's sins are writ largest, but Pat is a bit of a killjoy and a nag, Dana's drifting through a life she's not sure she wants, and Ali's alternately sneaking out to be with her boyfriend and tormenting her long-suffering mother. (Their relationship is made perfectly clear in a scene near the movie's beginning, when Pat asks Ali what her boyfriend was talking about on the phone. "I dunno, butt stuff," is the reply. Her surprised mother laughs. "Oh, I love you. Good night." Ali waits until her mom closes the door to mutter back, almost silently "Love you.")

The discovery of Alan's affair turns out to be the excuse each member of the Jacobs family was looking for to blow up their lives. Dana not so secretly wanted her staid relationship with Ben to change, Ali wanted her parents to know she wasn't the do-gooder they were hoping for, Pat wanted her daughters and her husband to see her as a person, not just someone who exists only to make other people's lives better. Slowly, they find that their relationships with one another are what carries them through life's problems. It may not be perfect at home, but at least the people there love you ... and are willing to dress in group Halloween costumes with you, even if that means wearing a garbage bag.

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