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Movie Review: The Talent Given Us

Alternate Title: Too Close for Comfort

Story: Imagine for a second a cross country car trip with your parents - except that you are an adult. Are you freaking out? Want to call your therapist?

This rollicking, very funny, often poignant film by writer, cinematographer and director Andrew Wagner, starring his real mother, father and two sisters deals with this very subject.

A NYC upper west side, long married couple, spontaneously decide to visit their son who now lives in LA. In tow are their two adult daughters who have mishegas (Yiddish for craziness) to spare. What ensues can come across as a documentary film. However, I took it for what I think it was. A dysfunctional family who both love and hate one another and were willing to put their family turmoil up on the big screen for all to see in order to help their son's career.

Was it successful? I thought so. It was hilarious, often embarrassing and very familiar. If you are urban, it probably helps to be Jewish (or have lots of Jewish friends), have a fondness for the old Woody Allen filial type plot than you will get a kick out of this very different film. If you are none of the above - stay home.

Acting: Everyone was hilarious.

Predilection: None

Food: More food than I could possibly remember. Each meal was more hilarious than the last and worth the price of admission alone.

Critters: Two dogs that bare a striking resemblance to my newly adopted chihuahua/terrier mix, Benny. Want to see Benny? Let me know and I will send you his photo. He is a doll.

Visual Art: Their NYC apartment was very typical. The family's home in a stop in the midwest was over the top fabulously funny.

Theater Audience: About enough people to fit in a large SUV to go across country.

Quirky Meter: 6

Squirm Scale: Some of the dialogue and situations were uncomfortable.

Drift Factor: Too weird to drift.

Predictability Level: I hadn't a clue as to where this film was headed.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: If you are into road movies there are dozens to choose from. My favorite is Thelma and Louise and of late, Motorcycle Diaries.

Length: Under two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: 6