'The Perfect Family' Review: Even a Zealous Kathleen Turner Can't Save This Holy Comedy


As sure as the Pope resides at the Vatican, the Catholic Church won’t be organizing busloads of parishioners for fieldtrips to go see "The Perfect Family."

That’s because this slight satirical comedy has as its center a woman so slavishly devoted to the church that she has worn blinders for years that keep her from seeing that her own family is falling apart. The film’s title, "The Perfect Family," is meant to be ironic with a neon yellow highlighter through it.

A matronly Kathleen Turner tears with gusto into the role of Eileen Cleary, a seemingly devoted wife and mother who spends her days volunteering at her local parish, helping with communion, bringing meals to the elderly and serving on church committees.

It’s when Eileen is nominated for her local church’s Catholic Woman of the Year award, with its promise of a prayer of absolution administered by a visiting high ecclesiastical muck-a-muck that will bring forgiveness for all her sins, that the hypocrisy of her situation becomes glaringly apparent, eventually even to her. While Eileen has been busy crossing herself and genuflecting, her disaffected husband (Michael McGrady) has been going to AA meetings, her unhappy fireman son (Jason Ritter) has left his wife and kids for a manicurist, and her lawyer daughter (Emily Deschanel) -- though still in the closet to Mom -- is pregnant and planning to wed her female partner. Read More...



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