The only reason I can think of to watch Vivi Friedman's flat, satirical farce "The Family Tree" - and it's not a good enough reason - is the opportunity to play a game of spot the semi-star.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
[It makes] a small case for not succumbing to nostalgic malaise -- too bad it's in a genre as played-out as [the] lead characters' passion.
Mark Holcomb - Village Voice
To judge from the talent she drew for her shaky debut, Vivi Friedman must either be very well connected or an awfully smooth talker.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
"Mad Men" devotees may show up for Christina Hendricks, who plays Mulroney's buxom secretary. Quite the acting stretch.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
Friedman's inability to successfully reconcile the film's duality undercuts an eclectic cast gamely committed to Mark Lisson's thematically ambitious, if scattered, script.
Gary Goldstein - Los Angeles Times
The Family Tree is a surprisingly funny dysfunctional family comedy that manages to entertain throughout.
Sean Kernan - We Got This Covered
...a misguided and thoroughly obnoxious piece of work that wears out its welcome almost immediately.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
There are too many branches on this tree trying to give every unemployed actor in Hollywood a job.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
So in the end what we are presented with is a mildly affable comedy of familial dysfunction that wants to chide the times for being both morally and emotionally obtuse. Instead, The Family Tree winds up being little more than a film uprooted.
Brandon Judell - CultureCatch
Another around-the-bend black comedy that doesn't work.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The Family Tree is never willing to try and really understand its family, instead creating wall of surface-level quirks as shorthand for their personalities.
Sean Gandert - Paste Magazine
This black comedy about a dysfunctional family strikes out on all counts: originality, wit and viewer tolerance.
David Noh - Film Journal International
Here's a film that consists of a hodgepodge of blah. Too many subplots are crammed into this dramedy that leaves little for emotion or laughter.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
Think Overboard with masturbating, asphyxiated teens, gun-toting/weed-smoking priests, lesbian high school teachers preying on her students, a parade of wasted talent, and Bow Wow.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Davis could play a role like Bunnie in her sleep, Mulroney often seems to be asleep and the rest of the overqualified supporting cast just appears relieved that their screentime is limited.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Like the body of a peeping tom high school student that hangs hidden in the Burnett's tree for the duration of the film, the direction of the movie remains dangling over audiences.
Mark Peikert - New York Press
fresh and engaging...and quite funny
Blake French - Filmcritic.com
There's not much dramatic glue here to huff, leaving The Family Tree satisfying on a technical level, with external developments more captivating than internal deliberation.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The Burnett clan manages to encompass virtually every cliche of any dramedy made in the last decade that has garnered or hoped to garner Oscar buzz.
Chuck Bowen - Slant Magazine
It has a terrific cast of actors doing committed work; it also has a screenplay that tries so hard to be quirky that it tires itself out.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat