Review by Lisa Payne
A man’s two families are brought together at his funeral by his untimely death. Cami (Heather Graham) and Aster (Sophie Nélisse) are the first. Rachel (Jodi Balfour) and Tallulah (Abigail Pniowsky) are the second.
Cami cannot move on emotionally, as she’s still hurt by his cheating on her with, and marrying Rachel. Although Cami has thrived since the split, she has raised a very disaffected daughter in Aster. Rachel is smug because she got the man, the house, and the adorable little girl.
As a consequence of his financial mismanagement, Rachel and Tallulah come to live with Cami and Aster in Cami’s living my best-life house. As you’d expect, they emotionally bump into each other in combinations of grief, tension, arguments, revelations, and resolutions.
Watching the interactions centering on the shifting sands of constantly-evolving relationships and alliances between and amongst the four female characters is fascinating. Because of the generational overlap of their ages, moving in and out of each other’s company is at once easy and difficult. The emotional undercurrents and their new-found interdependence are so well-handled. Each character is well-drawn and has agency.
Tallulah, whose story and emotions could have been lost because she is such a young girl, is an integral part of this story and well-acted by Pniowsky. The subplot involving Aster and her best friend added a layer of complexity and nuance.
It is refreshing to see movies that are a) well-written and directed by women and b) not any longer than they need to be. This movie comes in at a trim 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Making margaritas and Heather Graham in oversized sunglasses – count me all the way in!
In Theaters and On Demand 2/14.
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