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The Perfect Family (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 24 April 2011 (USA)
2:19 | Trailer

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A devoutly Catholic wife and mother has been nominated for one of the church's top awards. She then goes about trying to prove she has the "perfect" family, refusing to accept them for who they are.


Anne Renton


Paula Goldberg (story), Claire V. Riley (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Turner ... Eileen Cleary
Emily Deschanel ... Shannon Cleary
Jason Ritter ... Frank Jr.
Michael McGrady ... Frank Cleary
Shannon Cochran ... Mary Donovan
Sharon Lawrence ... Agnes Dunn
Angelique Cabral ... Angela Reyes
Richard Chamberlain ... Monsignor Murphy
Elizabeth Peña ... Christina Reyes
Gregory Zaragoza ... Louis Reyes
Kristen Dalton ... Theresa Henessy
Laura Cerón ... Carmelita
Scott Michael Campbell ... Father Joe
Hansford Rowe ... Bishop Donnelly
Rebecca Wackler ... Sister Joan


Eileen Cleary has just been nominated for Catholic Woman of the year when her family drop a bombshell. Over the dinner table she discovers that not only is her son leaving his wife and children for the local beautician, but her daughter is 5 months pregnant and about to marry her girlfriend. Desperate to win the award, Eileen is conflicted between shame over her family and still desiring to do the right thing by them. Unable to accept either of their choices her family begins to splinter, with even her husband threatening to leave. Ultimately this is a feel-good movie and Eileen proves herself to be a person worthy of both the award and her family. Written by Ida Raine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She has nothing to hide. Except her family.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

24 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A tökéletes család See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,301, 6 May 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$107,721, 17 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


At 13 minutes, when Eileen tells her husband that she is nominated, she places two letters in a box on a table in the house. At the next shot, when she walks to the camera into the living room, you see in the background that the two letters lie differently in the box. See more »


Eileen Cleary: I don't have to think! I'm Catholic!
See more »


Written by Simon Perry, and Dave Thomas Junior
Performed by Dave Thomas Junior
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User Reviews

A Liberal Vision of Family Values
17 January 2019 | by tabunoSee all my reviews

25 December 2012. Whether or not one believes in alternative life styles or those not sanction by a traditional religious viewpoint, this movie presents a straightforward and perhaps even an honest experience of tradition meeting un-tradition and the human consequences. Directed in a mainstream, non-art film, the script focuses on some quit socially divisive social issues at least taken from a conservative religious perspective. The tone of the movie is odd as the music and the beginning sequences are suggestive of a light comedy as perhaps these topics of blending religion and the more contemporary societal mores have been treated. Perhaps it is a testament that a more serious, but mainstream approach to the current social and marital issues can be presented in this way.

Unlike the comedy of All Above Steve (2009), light touch of Lars and the Real Girl (2007), the more blended light and serious drama of The Perfect Man (2005), and the more inclusive treatment of Little Miss Sunshine (2006), In & Out (1997), Connie and Carla (2004), Victor, Victoria (1982), or The Birdcage (1999), The Perfect Family plays it much straighter, no pun intended. The Family Stone (2005) has a decent balance of tone and serio-comedy about familial relationships yet in some ways The Perfect Family is much more involved in its depiction of relational disruption and its more emotive/mental edginess that is usually toned tone in most movies or dramatically and icily directed for dramatic shock rather as in such more serious, darker movies as A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007) or art movie as Margot at the Wedding (2007) than The Perfect Family's more evolving, sustain realization of personal choices for the mainstream audience.

Elizabethtown (2005) or Georgia Rule (2007) in their simple but plain depiction of relational awkwardness comes close to The Perfect Family in tone and style. Yet perhaps The Human Stain (2003) or American Beauty (2000), The Hours (2002) are the movies that retain their hard-hitting and cinematic edge in revealing the visceral emotional, mental turmoil in dramatic form.

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