An ensemble piece, along the lines of something John Sayles or Robert Altman might do,only on a minuscule budget and played strictly for laughs. A massively dysfunctional Southernfamily meet for the funeral of Grandma Peggy, and all sorts of animosities and such are workedout. The film is based on a play, and boy can you tell — static as hell, boring to watch. There aresome moments of genuine emotion with the gay characters, but for the most part this is just apainful slog…
The movie is cheap, cheap, cheap, so you shouldn’t expect miracles. Even so, the 2.0 mixis very clear, with a decent environmental effect (when there are sound effects) and only minorbuzz on the dialogue.
Here is where the cheapness of the film becomes more of a liability. The transfer is verysharp, which makes the shot-on-video look all the more painfully obvious. You can see everypore on the characters’ flesh. The contrasts are strong, bordering on the harsh. The colours,blacks and flesh tones are all, uh, vivid, much like those on the video of your niece’s birthdayparty.
At least the people involved in the film had a good time, if one is to judge by thecommentary track, which features writer/director Del Shores and a hefty chunk of the cast.Shores talks about the process of adapting his play (I gather he’s very popular on the LA theatrescene) and how the film came to be. Some of this ground is gone over again in “Stores by DelShores and Sharyn Lane,” wherein these two talk about how the film got made and how greatthe other person is. There are two uncut songs for Newton-John to sing, 10 deleted scenes (withoptional commentary) and interviews with Shores, Lane, and nine of the cast members. Themenu is basic.
An unbelievable number of extras for such a little film (which nonetheless has a relativelybig-name cast: Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, Delta Burke). Best enjoyed by fans of Shores’plays.
Special Features List
- 10 Interviews
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- 2 Uncut Songs