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Old 01-26-2008, 01:54 PM
  #129
Danke
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some reviews

Quote:
From there, I ducked away to see “Birds of America,” starring Matthew Perry, Lauren Graham, Ginnifer Goodwin, Ben Foster and Hilary Swank. They're members of a dysfunctional family with the usual blend of humorous and poignant happenings found commonly at Sundance. I liked it and will be surprised if it doesn't hit theaters before long.
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and one longer one

Quote:
I’m getting a little tired of movies about dysfunctional families, even at this year’s Sundance. But Birds of America manages to break the mold and feel fresh and alive from the outset, delivering a warm, funny, zany, tender and compassionate film that left the audience smiling and content.

Morrie (Matthew Perry) is an uptight university professor anxiously seeking tenure, which requires the approval of his department head, who lives next door. Morrie and his wife Betty (Lauren Graham—Gilmore Girls) live in a house he inherited at 18 years old when his father committed suicide after his mother died. As a result, Morrie raised his brother Jay (Ben Foster) and sister Ida (Ginnifer Goodwin), both of which grew into their problems. Ida is substance-abusing and promiscuous, and Jay a deeply gentle and sensitive soul whose actions are almost completely unfettered by advanced thought. They reunite in the family home when Jay gets run over by a car (he was laying in the road) and Morrie, who still feels more parent than brother, asks him to move in for a while. Jay asks Ida to join them, stressing Morrie and Betty’s relationship and jeopardizing his career with their outrageous behavior.

Matthew Perry is surprisingly good in his deadpan portrayal of an overwrought brother who cares deeply for his siblings, often at his own expense. Goodwin is a pleasure as well, as the addictive personality with the carefree spirit. But Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) is great, and despite having such a naturally funny role, manages to never play Jay for laughs, creating an endearing and memorable character. Growing up without parents, these three have formed an unbreakable bond, with unconditional love and acceptance, and a tenderness and compassion unlike any I can remember in movies. Elyse Friedman has crafted a remarkable script, and Sundance veteran director Craig Lucas (Secret Lives of Dentists, The Dying Gaul) brings it to life with a funny but light-hearted and gentle touch.

As its cut, Birds in America will get an R rating, which is too bad because this movie has a big heart and would appeal to a wide audience.
★ ★ ★ ★ (out of four)
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