Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Hader (Milo) and Kristen Wiig (Maggie) make for a serious dramatic duo. It is important to recognise that this flick is not a parody of itself and the journey will tug at your thoughts long after the credits have rolled. For those seeking a carefree comedy, look elsewhere.
Where other directors have dwelled on controversial and dark subject matter to the point of being dull and depressing, Craig Johnson's vision is a meditation on the sniping and sarcasm between the ones we hold close while also demonstrating the consequences of shielding those same people from secrets that could rupture the status quo.
The sibling dynamic between Milo and Maggie was realistic and lightened the film's tone. Think of your own family. In-jokes at the dinner table, check; silly conversations late at night, check; someone to confide in, check.
Lance the optimistic husband (Luke Wilson) also contributed to the smile-factor and showed a hilarious counterpoint to Milo's personality.
Stylistic cinematic scenes worked well with the pleasant score too. Without spoiling the plot, certain actions accentuated by the superb music emphasised the spectrum of human emotion and experience in a way that most people can relate to.
The pacing was fairly consistent and some shocking revelations that emerge after the second act maintain a sense of tension right up to the final moments.
These 90 minutes will provoke self-reflection and may even prompt you to check in on those special people in your life.