The Family Tree Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.