This film is fundamentally about how to cope with painful truths; escape with distractions, bottle it up for years, only show the good side of ourselves, blame others for our own failings or what's out of our control, or face it and transmute it into something that's helpful and kind. Every character grapples with this, even the child, and traverses their own story arc without staying stuck in one dimension. They each make mistakes and grow from them. It's so relatable that, by the end, it feels like you're just another friend in the room with these very real-seeming people.
I'm a fan of every actor and they each create a story that engaged my heart from the beginning. I felt along with each of them, so they did a wonderful job. Garner managed to express the bitter side of grief in a way that humanized her character without vilifying her. There were plenty of moments when her character could have been played a touch too low or too grasping, but Garner's vulnerability kept the character grounded and lovable. Juliette Lewis was just perfect. Olyphant's character seems to be written as a cartoon cutout at first, but he quickly displays an electric presence that gives the guy interest, self-awareness, and depth. Olyphant consistently steals the show; you just want to see what he's going to do next. The love scenes have a focus on the story being told rather than just exposing the actors' bodies. More is said without words, which makes the story more stimulating.
***SPOILERS*** The scene in the kitchen when Gray runs to hide just when Fritz is about to express his feelings is mostly well executed, but I wish the frame had pulled back enough to show the gesture Olyphant made with his hand when Garner pulled back. He reached for her in a silent "don't go" that was only partially visible. That movement contributed more to the unspoken conversation, so it really shouldn't have been cropped. The storage room scene where Olyphant played Fritz's self-defense with pained humor felt like a real break-up, and the shadow of disillusioned resolve that crossed his eyes looked like he was living it rather than acting it. Olyphant is consistently magnetic and fun to watch. ***/SPOILERS***