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Movie Review: 51 Birch Street

Alternate Title: Pandora's Box

Story: Ever thought about your parents as if they were real human beings complete with sex lives, dreams and anxieties? Most people would rather not go to that visual and are content to remember their parents as if they were frozen in some Hallmark Card holiday picture. Reality however, is quite different as documentarian Doug Block learns upon the sudden death of his 83 year old mother who was married to his father for over 50 years.

The shock of Block's mother's death was compounded when three months later, his father announces he is selling the home that he has lived in for 55 years, moving to Florida and marrying the woman who was his secretary 35 years ago.

Talk about a jaw dropper! Block, in his efforts to try to understand his father and to try to delve deeper into his mother's life begins to read his mother's journals. Be careful what you wish for is something we should all remember as Block begins to see his mother and his father's lives for what they really were as opposed to what he and his sisters thought they were.

It is a fascinating, albeit voyeuristic journey into the lives of very ordinary people who might very well remind you of your own parents. Yikes!

Acting: It's a documentary so this category does not count.

Predilection: I like documentaries.

Critters: 0

Theater Audience: The theater has about 50 seats and it was about a third filled.

Weather: It seemed to be always sunny.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: It could have been edited a bit.

Predictability Level: There were some surprises as the film progressed.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes