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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 2 May 2009 10:30
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Can't We Be Dysfunctional Like A Normal Family?

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People who added this item 4646 Average listal rating (3074 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
A suicidal gay uncle, an unspoken emo brother who dreams of flying jet fighters, a motivational-speaking dad who always seems to be out of touch, a seven year old out of shape pangeant-contesting "super-freak", and a heroin-addicted grandpa with the power to spout out Oscar-worthy expletives, all capped off by a mom who tends to serve popsicles for dessert.
Everything you need to provide a big yellow vehicle such as this one with a solid push.

People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6

When living within the slums of Beverly Hills, you'll find that every once in awhile, you just have to pack up the family and move. Particularly, when the rent is due.
Oh, and when this does happen, as a courtesy to the next tenants,
please don't forget to remove the cat from the oven.
People who added this item 340 Average listal rating (229 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4

I pretty much ignored this film when it was first released. I watched on it's first airing on TV, & I literally couldn't believe at how good it was. So I went out & rented it, & yep, I was right. It's that good.
The story is just perfect from beginning to end. And Kathy Bates, IMO, turns in an even better performance than she did in Misery. The plot may tend to come off as a bit complicated, but the movie does a great job of walking the viewer thru the intermingling flashbacks & varoius plot points that show the main character's journey to save her daughter from the father's "parental indulgences" & how that struggle can lead us to find strength in the most unlikely of places.

People who added this item 1228 Average listal rating (737 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4
Precious (2009)
Lemme tell you something,
no matter how sane a character you cast Mariah Carey in a movie about dysfunctionality,
you still gotta make the other main characters in the film as effed up as possible just to make the viewers buy into her the credibilty of her role.

People who added this item 465 Average listal rating (283 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
Parenthood (1989)
"Since then he's been slappin' the salami, no offense..... apparently he's goin' for a world record.... anyway, uh, he was afraid there was somethin' wrong with him, like he was a pervert or somethin'. I told him 'That's just what little dudes do. We've all done it'."

"... you need a license to buy a dog or drive a car, hell you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reamin' @sshole be a father."

Steve Martin, putting away the arrow thru the head, joins Keanu Reeves, in his most excellent d00d disposition, along with this most excellently cast of 80's veterans, to present the up and down roller coaster ride that is non-planned parenthood.
Oh, and to provide a hint of irony into the production of this movie about familial dysfunctionality, in the carny position for this particular amusement ride is Opie, from the Andy Griffith Show.
People who added this item 3830 Average listal rating (2386 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9.1
What happens when a family member gets too out of line?
You give 'em the kiss of death, then you have 'em whacked.
Way more effective than a time-out.

People who added this item 3373 Average listal rating (2206 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8
In this family, dysfunctionality is a form of functionality.
Stretching mom out on a torture rack or throwing the baby out of a third story window is simply a way of communicating "You're okay, I'm okay".
And one of the advantages that comes with having the last name of Addams is that, no matter how many family-friendly games of tag you play,
your cousin will always be Itt.

People who added this item 582 Average listal rating (341 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Ice Storm (1997)
Oh sure, maybe your family isn't as effed up as the one in this movie (or maybe, your family is worse). But, after viewing Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, you'll be left with the perfect feeling of indigestion, bitterness & hopeless depression that can only come after a family feast of dead bird, pumpkin pie & gelatinous cranberry sauce from a can.

As far as Thanksgiving films go, this might not be the most positive,
but let's be honest...
There are so few Thanksgiving flix, let alone quality Thanksgiving flix.

People who added this item 270 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
Crumb (1994)
An eccentric cartoonist who takes the idea of artistic integrity to it's most purest/extremist definition, the aptly named Robert Crumb paved his own unique way through the underground side of comicbooks (or "comix", as that part of the medium likes to refer to itself). Watching this guy talk about how he practically discovered his sexuality by riding his aunt's leg as a child, one can easily come to the conclusion of just how "weird" Crumb is. And yet, once you "meet" the rest of his family, it becomes painfully obvious that it is he who comes off as the most normal one of the bunch.

People who added this item 2578 Average listal rating (1707 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
With names like Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller & Angelica Houston,
it's no surprise that as far as dark comedies go,
The Tenenbaums are what you might call the royal family of aristocratic & eccentric dysfunction.

People who added this item 396 Average listal rating (214 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
A family portrayal that depicts how even the most ordinary people are not very ordinary.
Trying to live a life of normalcy can often be much more of an emotional household hindrance than it is as a sign of achievement of the American dream.

Before I ever saw this movie,
I thought that Mary Tyler Moore was one of the most beautiful, heart-warming human beings ever to be onscreen.
After I watched Ordinary People,
I couldn't stand to even look at her.
Now that's acting.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 219 Average listal rating (115 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.9
There are 3 scenes in this movie that make it such a standout for me: confidence man, Paul "Poitier's" (Will's Smith) observations on Catcher In The Rye & the nature of creativity; the phone call dialogue between he & Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing): & finally, Oiusa's heartfelt speech about people's tendency to turn meaningful experiences into throwaway anecdotes.
Who would've thought that a film with this much philosophy could be this entertaining? Plus, not only is this a performance by Will Smith that first revealed his ability to act against other other big screeners, but this is also one of Stockards finest efforts. At this point in her career, she has honed her craft to the point where, in this particular movie, it really allows her to shine. I don't used the word under-rated when it comes to subjects that are based so much on relativity/subjectivity, such as the catergory of films, but if I could, this movie would be one of the main ones that would inspire me to do so. I really, really like this movie alot. Great performances by Will Smith & Stockard Channing along with Mr. Donald Sotherland coming in to provide the final piece of high mark acting to a high quality level movie.

People who added this item 204 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
The War Zone (1999)
The family that loves together stays together.
Or, if taken too far,
just completely crumbles together.
A grey, sodden story of family disorder that's as bleak as the subject matter can be,
& provides for some really good acting (particularly Lara Belmont), not to mention an excellent directorial debut by Tim Roth.

People who added this item 6111 Average listal rating (4058 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4

Personally, I think that this is a movie that tries to remind us that we have the ability to keep life in perspective, but usually don't. I think that what AB tries to say with it's message, especially at the end is much bigger than most of us realize. This is a film that I hope I can remember to watch every 4 or 5 yrs of my life, just as a reminder to "something" that I genuinely believe we all already know, but hardly ever allow it's awareness to surface during the course of our lives.
Or maybe I'm just looking at things bigger than what they really are in this movie.
Which could easily just be a side effect of the one-too-many times that I kept pressing the pause button during Thora Birch's naked breasts scene.
People who added this item 624 Average listal rating (347 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Festen (1998)
Over at a dynastically run hotel, a high ranking family is holding a celebration for their father's 60th year.
And one of the patriarch's major surprise gifts, by his only son, is the unveiling news that he is responsible for the suicide death of his daughter as a result of a family history of sexual abuse.
Although, coupled with the other troubled revelations that reveal themselves as the party chugs along, "Big Daddy" probably would have preferred on just getting a tie.

People who added this item 221 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.6
How do you get back at your parents for punishing you with a wire hanger?
Try writing a based-on-my-life book that's ends up becoming a movie.

People who added this item 246 Average listal rating (157 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.7
A neglected high school girl summons up the courage to ask the boy of her dreams out to the prom. And when he turns her down, she ends up summoning her effed up parents to help her capture the boy's heart. With the intent of drilling the idea of her undying love into his head.

A date movie in which the term "getting lucky" means "getting out". Alive.

People who added this item 772 Average listal rating (433 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
The movie celebration of the season! Big sis is getting married! So put on a bridesmaid outfit, a sarcastic smirkiness for drama, carry in a burden of a lifetime of simmering family tension & denial, & then get ready to cut some cake. And maybe reopen a few emotional wounds or two.

Makes me can't effin' wait til effin' Christmas with my effin' family.

With their consecutive lives falling apart, two brothers scheme to rob a jewelry store owned by their parents. Hoping that the money will improve each others situation with the belief that the insurance will cover the loss to the store.
However, this being a movie, you know things are going to go awry. As the plans, then the robbery itself fall apart,
the brothers find their relationship with each other, with their father & just with their lives falling deeper in dysfunction.
A great film with a great cast directed by a great director, Sydney Lumet, in his last directorial outing.

People who added this item 1214 Average listal rating (798 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Omen (1976)
"This is our son Damien. He's quite the little devil."

Probably the only family situation wherein if the child does something good, he'd get a time-out.
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.7
A community from Small town U.S.A. comes together for one of their own.
one of their own that came "outta the the abandoned basement of society", which we have all seem to deny exists. Until, that is, the media comes arunnin' to shine it's light of "subjective truth" upon it.
A story that starts out macabrely weird & ends up macabrely moving.

People who added this item 849 Average listal rating (582 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9

A family of rednecks that makes even Satan go "Damn.... these people are just plain downright evil.....!"

People who added this item 1554 Average listal rating (977 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
And speaking of an evil family full of rednecks......
If anybody in this household (particularly, anyone who wears a mask of leathered flesh on his face) ever wants to borrow any of your tools (particularly any that you have to yank to get started), don't expect to ever see it again.

People who added this item 2945 Average listal rating (2030 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Kick-Ass (2010)
A father/daughter relationship of superheroic proportions.
And not until the daughter can slice the bad guys into bits, shove their teeth into their brains & shoot expletives with as much precision as a bullet in between the bad guy's eyes can she expect to be truly considered as Big Daddy's lil' hit girl.

People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.6
The Funeral (1996)
Ever since The Godfather, it seems like mafia families just don't get it.
Living "the life" means "la familia" of the mob gets priority over the family of your blood.
And making the life of "la familia" a family bizaness, usually translates into the idea that the family that shoots together, dies together.

Next thing you know, you won't be able to tell whether you're at a family reunion or at a family funeral.

People who added this item 615 Average listal rating (445 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Vacation (1983)
The roller coaster ride of dysfunction: the family vacation.

Which makes me realize,
the last time I took a vacation,
John Candy was still alive, Beverly D'Angelo was thin & Chevy Chase was actually pretty funny.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 164 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
Nobody's Fool (1994)
This is simply one of those movies that I really enjoy that never really gets much mention anywhere. Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffin & Phillip Seymour Hoffman are a great cast of actors playing a great cast of characters in this film. And each one is a piece of a puzzle that, despite their sharp edges, all still fit in perfectly.

People who added this item 269 Average listal rating (160 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
In an effort of a getaway, a french group of young robbers seek to rendezvous near the border.
And they find it at what appears to be a quaint, family-owned inn.
However, they quickly come to realize that the family runs the inn as a place where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2

The Great Santini is a hero, an honored war veteran & an iron fisted father who thinks everyone should be as pasionately competitive as he is.
However, his oldest son is growing into an adult. And in the process, he's getting tired of following orders, being called a sports fan & having his head used as a basketball court. But through it all,
what he really wants is to find out what is it that truly makes his dad, "Santini", so great.
People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Panic (2000)
Most fathers like to bond with their sons through playing catch or taking 'em fishing. For this family, Dad hands you a gun and teaches you how to aim it at a squirrel & blow it's nuts off.
In this household, the family name is carried on by picking up a sniper rifle and aiming it right between a target's eyes.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 127 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
Two high caliber actors, one known for always "walken" the tightrope of creepiness, the other with a rep for consistently straddling the fence of full-blown enragement, pool their talents into this tale of white-trash crime syndication. Sean Penn and Christopher Walken prove to be a dynamic duo of drama with enough cray-cray chemistry between the two of them, that it helps to provide this backyard crime-drama with the kind brewing tension and uneasiness that makes the sense of backyard danger usually reserved for the trailer park, feel like it's at a closer range.
(Oh, and this comment was posted with all apologies to any of you out there reading this who are trailer-trash.)

People who added this item 502 Average listal rating (290 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
In public schools everywhere, for every one popular girl that we see, there are probably 20 plain jane girls like Dawn Wiener lurking anonymously in the background.
Welcome to the Dollhouse follows the life of this 7th grader as she struggles to find her place in a family in which she is virtually non-existant (with the exception of being compared as a bad example to the beloved & favorited ballerina primadonna sibling) & in a junior high school where her only purpose is serving as a door mat for the class bullies.
This film is a hard-nosed depiction of those who are quietly & easily overlooked & who tend to make up a larger percentage of the student school population than many of us want to or even care to notice.

People who added this item 5682 Average listal rating (3807 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
The Shining (1980)
An annoying wife & mother, a kid who likes to talk with his finger,
and a dad who suffers not only from writer's block & a possesed spirit, but also from a severe case of "redrum" on his mind.

I'm home."
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
What happens when you don't find out until it's too late that the leader of a vast galactic Empire who has been corrupted by the darkside is really your dad,
that a beautiful Princess that you have the hots for is really your sister?

Well, for the first part, you turn your life over to the Force, lead a rebellion against the Empire until your dad sees the light & dies a hero.
...and then,
just pretend that the second part never really happened.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:

This is a list of some of my favorite movies to watch about familes that are either like mine or worse.
These aren't necessarily those of this genre which I consider to be the best, just my personal fave.

Some other well-known dysfunctional family films that I haven't seen yet:

- Meet The Fockers
- The Squid & The Whale
- Home For The Holidays
- The Ref
- What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
- Animal Kingdom

Updated Entries:
- The Croods
- Happiness
- The Joy Luck Club
- Carrie
- Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
- Killer Joe

Other lists by The Mighty Celestial:

My Top 20 Female Movie Bad-Asses http://www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-female

10 Movies That Feature A Dancin' Travolta In 'Em http://www.listal.com/list/my-list-9158

My Top 15 Guilty Pleasure Movies http://www.listal.com/list/guilty-pleasures-thecelestial

A - Z

My Favorite Movies By Genre:

WAATAAAH!! My Top 10 Favorite Martial Arts Flix!

Science Fiction:
- When Aliens Attack ....Or At Least, Go Bad http://www.listal.com/list/aliens-attack-at-least-go
- Aliens Who Come In Peace http://www.listal.com/list/good-aliens
- Sci Fi Faves Of Like....Ever. http://www.listal.com/list/scifi-movies

- Run For Your Lives! My 25 Fave Giant Monster Films http://www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-favorite-giant

- Superhero Movies http://www.listal.com/list/yep-am-huge-comicbook
- Non-Superhero Movies http://www.listal.com/list/my-favorite-nonsuperhero-comicbook-movies

My Top Favorite Westerns, Pard'ner http://www.listal.com/list/westerns-thecelestial

- Romantic Comedies http://www.listal.com/list/my-top-30-romantic-comedies
- Straight-Up Romance http://www.listal.com/list/romance-movies

- 3D http://www.listal.com/list/animate-this-my-favorite-animated
- 2D http://www.listal.com/list/my-favorite-animated-movies-thecelestial

- From Around The World http://www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-favorite-foriegn

My Top Favorite Movies By Year:

Lists by decades:
Of all time:

Added to

46 votes
Listal Members With Most Over 100 Votes of Lists (644 lists)
list by imanshole
Published 4 months, 2 weeks ago 5 comments
4 votes
Favorite lists published in 2009 (18 lists)
list by nusch
Published 1 year, 9 months ago

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Posted: 6 years, 5 months ago at May 5 7:07

For dysfunctional families you really need to see Takashi Miike's VISITOR Q...

Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Oct 12 15:53
Yep, Visitor Q definately qualifies...
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 22 21:48
I also suggest "Running with scissors" by Ryan Murphy
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 22 23:24
I suggest 'Imaginary Heroes'
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Dec 20 17:03
Interesting list pulling from a wide variety of genres. I like it. Squid and the Whale has one of my favorite dysfunctional families.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Jan 11 16:07
great list
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Jan 11 20:09
Sweet list. Great picks and another vote for Visitor Q. It doesn't get more dysfunctional than that. Also, the Time Roth directed drama, The War Zone.
Posted: 4 years, 8 months ago at Jan 12 22:40
I like Eulogy for a good "dysfunctional family" time
Posted: 4 years, 8 months ago at Jan 12 23:17
Don't Forget about Pieces of April
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at May 2 3:50
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at May 2 9:01
Loved the descriptions... Maybe you should consider watching Sitcom?
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at Nov 13 21:40
cool title
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Dec 23 1:08
Running with Scissors (:
Posted: 2 years, 9 months ago at Dec 15 14:42
Cool list, especially the last one!
Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Jan 30 20:13
Lovely list!Maybe you would care for some suggestions?

-The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
-A Real Young Girl (1976)
-A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
-Ken Park (every story has a dysfunctional family) (2002)
-Frances (1982)
-A Serious Man (2009)
-The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004)
-The Celebration (1998)
-Life as a House (2001)
-Harold and Maude (1971)

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