With The Family Tree
, director Vivi Friedman and screenwriter Mark Lisson are aiming for a cynical comedy about the absence of life’s meaning for suburbanites, but their overly cutesy tone keeps the film from having the dramatic punch they want during the film’s closing minutes.
The Burnetts are a prototypical version of a dysfunctional family living in a gorgeous suburban two-story home. Mom Bunnie (Hope Davis) acts out home invasion/rape sexual fantasies with their neighbor Simon (Chi McBride), while sexually frustrated dad Jack (Dermot Mulroney) seethes at his lousy job while lusting for his co-worker Alicia (Christina Hendricks). Their daughter, ...