Dysfunctional Family Reunions


This is the time of year when families gather together for good food, beautifully wrapped gifts and to bask in the glow of familial love. At least that is what you hope for. But not everyone one gets to enjoy family reunions that look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Some of us may understand the sentiment from  Into the Woods: “The closer to the family, the closer to the wine.

The families in these movies might make you wish you were an orphan. In fact, they might possibly be some of the worst families you’ve ever seen. Let’s take a look at a few dysfunctional family movies.

August: Osage County

August Osage County 4Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County is the story of the Weston family. When the head of the family (played by Sam Sheppard) goes missing, Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) calls together the family to help find their missing and presumed dead father.

Streep’s character,  Violet is one of the most hateful mothers I’ve ever seen in a movie. Maybe the fact that she is a chain smoker who suffers from mouth cancer and is addicted to painkillers. Or is might just run in the family because her sister,  Mattie Fae (played by Margo Martindale) is so mean to her son, it is almost painful to watch.

I can only imagine what it must have been like growing up in the Weston home, because it seems they all hate each other. There are many messed and dysfunctional relationships in this family, including a secret affair, which results in a love affair between to cousins who are actually brother and sister. Yes they go there.

With a cast that includes the likes of Meryl Streep, Julie Roberts,  Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis,  Dermot Mulroney, and Julianne Nicholson, you would expect to see outstanding performances. And you do.  But this is not a family you want to invite over for Thanksgiving dinner.

This Is Where I Leave You

This is where I leave you

When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Directed by Shawn Levy and starring Rose Byrne, Jason Bateman, and Timothy Olyphant.

 A Few Other Families That Could Use Some Counsiling

The Royal Tenenbaums



Rachel Getting Married

What Maisie Knew

About Clara Mathews

Clarabela (Clara Mathews) is freelance web content copywriter, professional blogger and Hugh Jackman fan. In addition to writing about her love of movies at JustChickFlicks.com, Clarabela is also a regular contributor to DignityZine.  Follow Just Chick Flicks on Facebook.