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Paz de la Huerta,
"Together Again for the First Time" tells the story of a blended family reuniting on Christmas Eve. It's the first time they've all been in the same house at the same time since the parent's marriage seven years before--which wouldn't be a problem if they all liked each other. But they don't. And matters only get worse with the unexpected arrival of an ex-boyfriend, an unannounced live television broadcast, and the outing of well-kept family secrets. This is a comic, touching movie about what it means to be a family--even when you don't like each other very much.Written by
Somewhat of a Christmas "surprise," and better than expected
Drama and turmoil (two key ingredients of any family Christmas, correct?) are difficult to combine with genuinely-funny comedy...but "Together Again for the First Time" does a credible job of blending disparate elements and creating solid entertainment.
The two parents are strongly cast, even though the characters themselves seem rather week and lily-livered, and most of the adult-children roles are played well.
Perhaps we've become somewhat numbed and don't expect much from Christmas cable fare anymore, but this little movie was genuinely engaging and is far better than most from the genre. Many scenes are laugh-out-loud funny (i.e., "fabric balls"), but many are also bitter and harsh in their cruel and honest reality.
I quickly found myself caring about several of the characters, something necessary for me if I'm to enjoy any sort of program. Lots of these guys hooked me early on, and I was sincerely interested in the outcome of their pending holiday disaster.
Catch this one when it comes on again (and I certainly hope it does). No, you won't be surprised by the formulaic ending, but I can pretty well promise you'll enjoy the ride along the way.
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