If you think your family is screwed up, you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’ve seen the 10 best dysfunctional family movies. The nuclear family goes kaboom as these films explore the shadowy underbelly of family values.
- “Happiness” “Magnolia” might not take the cake of dysfunctional family movies, but it definitely leaves with the finger food. It features three families undergoing abandonment, father resentment, hatred of women, child molestation and exploitation, adultery, verbal and emotional abuse, and depression. So much dysfunction, so few therapists.
- “American Beauty”Nothing says love in dysfunctional family movies like an elderly, heroin-snorting man teaching his seven-year-old granddaughter to dance like a stripper. Throw in the harried mother, her suicidal brother, an uptight motivational speaker husband, a son taken to a vow of silence, the violation of public decency laws, and a body that needs disposed of and you have the Hoover family.
- “Chinatown” The Carver and Hood families are close. So close, in fact, that they swap spouses behind each others’ backs. With so much attention on their genitalia, the Carver and Hood children raise themselves. They experiment sexually, shoplift, booze it up, and drug their friends. Like many of the best dysfunctional family movies, “The Ice Storm” also features a cameo by the Grim Reaper.
- “Virgin Suicides” The Jarretts are your typical upper class family: The father is spineless, the son is a recovering mental patient, and the mother blames her son for the death of his older brother. Among dysfunctional family movies, the drama in “Ordinary People” is the most riveting, with superb acting (Timothy Hutton struck Oscar gold as the depressed son) and a climax that packs an emotional wallop.
- “The Royal Tenenbaums” “Spanking the Monkey” <span style="\\"font-weight:" normal\\"="">When Raymond <span scaytid="6" scayt_word="Aibelli’s">Aibelli’s</span> controlling father leaves on an extended business trip, he forces Raymond to take care of his mother after her failed suicide attempt. If that wasn’t bad enough, Raymond’s flirtations with the underage girl next door pushes his sexual frustration to critical mass. But that’s what lonely, sex-starved mothers are for, right?</span></span></span></li> </ol>