I was hooked by the opening scene of Laura (Jenna Fischer) playing a dental hygienist. She is pretending everything is fine while she complains to her patient that her husband has one lone fault: he uses waxed floss. Clearly her life is not together as she is late picking up her porky 12 year old son Dennis (Daniel Yelsky) from camp while extinguishing the Marlboro Light she gave up a year ago. He clearly prefers dad (Chris O'Donnell) who frequently must work late, to being with his mom.
Jenna drowns her life, which really isn't that bad, into a Budweiser product placement (later replaced by Absolut Vodka) and lies to her mother (Lesley Ann Warren who has aged gracefully) about her life. While sad, it is done in a manner that we must laugh. When Chris dies from an "anxiety" attack brought on by Laura's sudden sexual demand, Laura goes to work the morning of the day of the funeral because it isn't until three o'clock. When Laura is at home, there are times when a dog is barking in the background. It is cleverly symbolic of her tension level.
The movie has some quick dry dark comedy wit:
At the funeral Paul is talking to a woman while opening a bottle of wine:
Paul: This is my second funeral this year, my dad died earlier.
Woman: Oh I'm so sorry.
Paul: Don't be. It was for the best.
Woman: Was he sick?
Dennis goes to a new school and has the "opportunity to make new friends" as the new fat kid in school. Things don't work out too well until he tells the kids his dad died "in 9-11."
Meanwhile Laura is sent to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits. Just when you think the movie is going to turn sad and dramatic,like so many indies going down the road of ruin, it doesn't. Even the sad scenes have some dark humor to them.
Jenna Fischer was great. The film boasts a great supporting cast as well as a quirky script with excellent direction. This is what indie production should be.
F-bomb, pathetic sex scene (by design), pot smoking. No nudity.