The Family

the family

  • Entertaining enough. Decent method to reach escapism.
  • But also a jumbled, confused mess that’s filled with silly plot contrivances, the sole purpose of which appears to be making the story do what Writer/Director Luc Besson and Co-Writer Tonino Benacquista want. The nicest thing I could say about the plot, such as it is, is that the voice over told us to expect unbelievable events, meaning we are unsurprised when the film delivers them. Really, though, telling me what you’re going to do does not mean you’ve done it well.
  • Picture never strikes the right balance. It wants to be a black comedy, but adds in too many dramatic and violent elements to really function as one. Because of that much of the humor falls flat. We’re never certain whether or not Besson intended something to be gross, touching or funny.
  • Actors all do their job well. Very well. They are the primary reason this one remains entertaining despite its flaws. Michelle Pfieffer as matriarch is a few steps above anyone else in the cast, which is not to say the rest of the cast was poor, only that Pfieffer was better. She makes Maggie both comforting and scary. I also enjoyed Diana Agron as Belle. Agron finds the dark comedy balance. I wish the director and producers had taken their cue from her.
  • The Family was entertaining enough, mostly because the cast did their jobs so well, but it would have been better if Besson had remembered what type of movie he was making and focused on that identity. It also would have been better with fewer silly coincidences.
  • Final Grade: D+

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