Anne Renton, shown at right, (it was written by Paula Goldberg and Claire V. Riley), THE PERFECT FAMILY is a fantasy/sit-com about the possibility of change. As usually happens in fantasy sitcoms, that change comes all too easily and far too soon. What keeps the movie even somewhat grounded and the viewer's eyes from constantly rolling is Ms Turner's performance as a "good Catholic mother" who is suddenly up for nomination as her local parish's prize designation of the Catholic Woman of the Year.
Jason Ritter, above) and daughter Shannon (Emily Deschanel -- shown below, left, with Angelique Cabral). This makes it a bit difficult for the actors to "shine" in these roles. They're perfectly OK, but little more. (Fans of Mr. Ritter, myself included, are in store for a simply terrific performance from this fine young actor next week -- when his movie A Bag of Hammers opens.)
Michael McGrady, below, this guy's quiet decency shines through nicely, and his character seems the least sit-comish of the pack --
Richard Chamberlain, below, right, welcomely understated as the parish priest,
Sharon Lawrence, below, as the Eileen's primary competition for the prize. Ms Lawrence is a fine actress, but saddled with this one-note role, she can do little more than hammer the clichés home. She's not allowed a trace of genuine humanity, and while this may make it easier to find fault and have fun at her expense, it only adds to the movie's air of unreality.
AMC Empire 25, and in the Los Angeles area on Friday, May 11, at the Laemmle's Monica 4-plex, Pasadena Playhouse 7 and Encino Town Center 5, and at
AMC's Burbank Town Center 8. I am told that you can also view it -- starting this Friday, May 4th -- via VOD. Check your local TV-reception provider for details.