Before I take a crack at commenting on this film, I must tell you why I love these two ladies – Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette. First, they are the real deal as Hollywood goes. By that I mean they don't simply chase roles that will win them awards. They chase roles the way Johnny Depp chases roles – interesting parts that resonate and show their talents. They aren't award hogs, they respect the craft. Second, both of these ladies are infinitely more talented than some in the regular blockbuster group and finally, they are two beauties that aren't obsessed with performing in "pretty" roles (Cameron in Being John Malkovich and Toni in About a Boy as examples of this).
As far as this film goes, I found it much deeper and more poignant that you might expect from the marketing and description. The two play sisters who are the product of a dysfunctional family situation that has many layers to it – these layers are peeled away as the film progresses. Cameron's character, Maggie Feller, is an underachiever/loser (to put it mildly). And while she appears to be a selfish, drunken, slut – for lack of a better word – there are things that come to light about her that are profoundly sad. As with her sister, Rose Feller, who is an actual achiever (an ambivalent one, but. . .) with zero sense of self-worth, Maggie is directionless. Until an inciting incident, involving a man friend of Rose's splits them apart.
What is at play is the sisters' relationship, a relationship rife with love, hate, resentment and a tragic shared history. The mystery is whether the bond is irrevocably broken or can it be mended.
A supporting cast, which includes Ken Howard, Shirley Maclean, Mark Fuerstein and several other key players fill in the missing puzzle pieces that eventually bind the sisters together.
This is not a fast-paced movie. But if you can sit back and observe the slow and sometimes painful realities of damaged familial relationships, you will come to a satisfying and believable resolution.
Based on the novel by Jennifer Weiner.