I will say that The Perfect Family, which premiered at Tribeca, had an unfair advantage given that I would show up, eagerly, to watch (and listen to) Kathleen Turner read the phone book, and in addition to being a consummate film actor, she is also an outspoken advocate of Planned Parenthood. But advantages aside, The Perfect Family is a darling of American independent cinema. Turner plays Eileen Cleary, nominated for Catholic Woman of the Year (but in close running with her childhood nemesis). Her priest tells her she’s going to win by a mile since she has a perfect family, a successful lawyer lesbian daughter (living partially in the closet and about to marry her partner), a son who is having an affair, and her own struggling marriage to a recovering alcoholic. The film doesn’t rely on quirkiness, but is instead populated by very real characters, both due to wonderful performances and excellent dialogue. When I found out the screenwriter Claire V. Riley was a first time screenwriter, I about died of shock, not only because of her gift at crafting her characters, but also because the arc of the film is so well designed. When she told me she came from a background in Social Anthropology, I understood.
Ms. Riley is a storyteller who studied families (lesbian partners and their families), and thus understands familial dynamics. She got right to the core and made it incredibly amusing and moving to watch. I laughed (a lot); I cried. I will post a trailer for the film as soon as it is released.