These movies depict dysfunctional families through the decades. Some are very sad and others are really weird. They are a group of movies that once watching, your family troubles will seem like nothing. Some were sleepers with titles that you might not remember. These movies are entertaining and should not be missed.
Requiem for a Dream (2000) This movie stars Ellen Burstyn like you have never seen her before. Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans and Jennifer Connelly also star in this movie. The title might have something to do with it not being as popular as it should have been. It is one of the greats in depicting the modern day life of substance abusers. This movie conveys a dysfunctional family and their drug abuse. It takes us on a journey of people slowly unwinding as they go down this road. It has the traditional drug abusing age group, and the not so traditional one. It is the only thing this mother and son have in common and neither are aware of each others plight. A must see film.
The Ice Storm (1997) This movie stars Kevin Klein, Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver. Dysfunctional families of the 70s. This movie paid homage to the 70s by not missing a detail in the setting, clothing, and mode of thinking for this decade. Upper middle class families in the Connecticut suburbs sharing friendships, wives and heart breaks. This is a very realistic look into the homes of this time. This movie was not a blockbuster, although it should have been.
Chumscrubber – (2005) – Glenn Close and John Heard are in this movie, although they play more of a supporting actor role. The majority of the cast are not big names, but do a great job, none the less. If the title had been anything else but Chumscrubber, it probably would have done much better at the box office. Chumscrubber sounds like a science fiction movie, which is far from what this movie is. It is about a grouping of dysfunctional families in the suburbs. This movie conveys the realistic sadness that life can offer with the majority of these being self inflected. This is a good movie, but the reviews were mixed. It was one of those movies that you absolutely loved or hated.
Ordinary People (1980) This movie stars Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore. Also starring a very young Timothy Hutton as their son. This movie unwraps the dysfunctions of this family through insights of depression suicide attempts, and denial. This was one of the first realistic films to tackle these subjects in depth. Ordinary People they are, and unfortunately there are not alone. This is a sad portrayal of a family in crisis and we watch as they continue down this road. Excellent movie.
The Royal Tanenbaums (2001) This film stars Gene Hackman, Angelica Huston, Gweneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, and many more. Needless to say that this all star cast does a bang up job at depicting the American dysfunctional family at their best. It is a strange and sometimes dark look in to a real crazy family.
Buffalo 66 (1998) This movie starring Christina Ricca and Vincent Gallo, who also directed this movie, shows much dysfunction and then takes you home so you can see where the seeds were planted for this dysfunction. Ben Gazzaro and Angelica Huston are great as family dinner hosts. A family dinner will never seem the same after watching these parents. Great, strange, and a most see movie.
The Ref (1994) This movie starring Dennis Leary has nothing to do with sports as you might suspect from the title. Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey are hilarious as a dysfunctional couple in this all to real family. This movie is a comedy and it is one of the most funniest movies of all time. Watch and roar.
Goodfellas (1990) This movie stars Ray Liotta and Robert Di Nero and is one of the best mafia depicting movies. Daddy in and out of jail, Mommy helping get the shipment of cocaine out in time, and uncles and aunts that are a bloody mess. One of the best movies ever made for many things, but the dysfunctional family theme really shines through.
Grey Gardens (2009) This movie stars Jessica Lang and Drew Barrymore. The acting on Drew Barrymore’s part is something to sit in awe of. This is a story of Jackie Kennedy’s relatives, aunt and cousin, that were long forgotten by her. In their hey-day they were something, but in later years they live in squalor in the beautiful Long Island Hampton’s. With definite mental health disorders on board, these two women, who are mother and daughter, live the strangest life. To appreciate Drew Barrymore’s part you need to watch the documentary of the same name, made in 1975. This is a piece of history. Jackie Kennedy was mortified when the documentary came out naming her as the niece. She finally did something to help, as you will see in this movie. This movie keeps you entertained all the way through.
Harold and Maude (1971) This movie stars Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. This was a very controversial movie in it’s time. It dealt with taboo and was highly shunned. It is a great movie, although by today’s standards it is very mild. Great movie.
References: IMb Internet Movie Base, Website