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Family Weekend Review (2012) (Spoilers included)

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Category: Comedy / Drama
Actors: Olesya Rulin, Kristen Chenoweth, Mathew Modine, Eddie Hassel, Joey King, Robbie Tucker, Shirley Jones, Chase Maser, Chloe Bridges
Duration: 105 min
Rated: R

You might like this movie if you enjoyed:
House Arrest (1996), The Family Stone (2005)

The story in one sentence: A teenage girl gets tired of her instable family and hostages her parents hoping she can fix them.

Storyline: Emily (Olesya Rulin) is a “jumper” and considered an outsider in school. Her mother (Kristen Chenoweth) is a career woman and shows hardly any interest in the family. Her father (Methew Modine) is a struggling artist who is trying to get a foot back in the scene after having received bad reviews for his paintings years ago. Her nine year old sister Lucinda (Joey King) wants to be a famous actress and is literally living characters from movies of the past eras. With brother Jackson (Eddie Hassel) her family is complete; just like his father Jackson is living in his own artistic world and doesn’t really pay attention to his surroudings.
After her family doesn’t show up to her jump-rope semi finals she decides to take desperate measures: With help of her siblings she drugs her parents, ties them to a chair and tries to teach them family values. But soon there are more people involved than expected. Will she be able to set things straight with her family or will things get even worse?

Review: Family Weekend is a very sweet and refreshing dramatic comedy starring Olesya Rulin who is known for her role as the shy pianist Kelsie from High School Musical. She is giving a very commited and realistic performance and I believe a lot of the kids born in the 90s and later can relate to her character. There are a lot of kids who are considered outisders or socially awkward and try to fit in just like her and Family Weekend spreads the message of no matter who you are or what you do be proud and keep your head high. But at the same time everyone needs at least someone to lean on and having a family that supports someone is everything. Eddie Hassel plays a confused young man who is literally trying everything to stand out in order to get his father’s attention, and then there is Joey as the 9-year old Lucinda who is playing a chracter within a character almost through the entire movie. She is pretending to be the 14-year old prostitute Iris played by Jodie Foster in the movie Taxi Driver from 1976 to develop her acting skills, which is hilarious. Kristen Chenoweth and Mathew Modine are giving a very setlle performances as well, and their transformation is very believable. Shirley Jones as the kind grandmother who seems to be stuck in the 70s was probably my favorite even though she only had a short appearance; she proves that actors from the old days can still outshine the new generation.

Besides the two police officers whose performance and lines were very flat I enjoyed all the characters and could relate to them. The actors did an amazing job and I don’t think anyone could have done it better. It’s sad that Family Weekend didn’t get enough publicity because I am sure a lot of people would enjoy it. I also blame the MPAA for the movie not being as successful as it could have been. After all it tells the story of a teenage girl so why rate it R? I think the younger generation can handle a few f-bombs or one “God Damn”. And even the question Emily’s father asks her friend, “Are you one of those guys who tell their girlfriends oral and anal sex is not considered real sex?” is not a reason to rate it R. Why? Because those guys exists and teenage girls should know about that. And let’s be honest: 12-year olds don’t play with dolls any more these days ; they actually act 3 to 4 years older than they should.

Family Weekend is a grown version of House Arrest which came out in 1996 starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and a little less mature version of The Family Stone from 2005. It’s a dramatic comedy that definitely deserves more attention.

My rating: 7/10

Images sourced from: http://www.imdb.com

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