Birds of America

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"Some families defy classification."
  • R
  • 2007
  • 6.0  (5,557)

Birds of America is a dramatic comedy that follows the struggles of a dysfunctional family. Matthew Perry plays Morrie, a former tennis player turned unhappy substitute teacher. Ben Foster is Jay, Morrie's younger brother who is restless and struggling to find his place in the world. Ginnifer Goodwin plays Ida, Morrie's sister who is dealing with her own mental health issues.

The film opens with Morrie teaching a high school history class in which he admits to using the textbook as a pillow. This sets the tone for his apathetic and unfulfilled character. He is divorced and living alone in a small apartment. Meanwhile, Jay is living in a cramped basement apartment and working odd jobs, including as a dog walker. He is discontent with his situation and yearns for a more meaningful life.

Ida, on the other hand, has recently been released from a mental institution and is living with Morrie. She is constantly fighting with her brothers, especially Morrie, who she blames for not visiting her during her stay at the hospital. Despite her struggles, she is trying to get her life back on track by working at a pet store and attending group therapy.

The story unfolds with the three siblings dealing with their own personal issues while trying to reconnect with each other. Morrie becomes increasingly frustrated with his job and is constantly reminded of his failed tennis career. He tries to reconnect with an old flame but is ultimately unsuccessful. Jay is trying to start his own business but has trouble getting investors interested. He also struggles with relationships and his own self-worth. Ida, still struggling with her mental health, finds solace in caring for animals and forming a bond with a parrot at the pet store.

Throughout the film, the characters are forced to confront their past and present demons. Morrie realizes that he has been selfish and needs to care more about the people in his life. Jay learns to appreciate the small successes in life and finds happiness in his blossoming relationship with a co-worker. Ida opens up to her brothers and finally confronts Morrie about their strained relationship.

The film explores themes of family dynamics, mental health, and finding your place in the world. The characters are flawed and make mistakes, but their journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation is heartwarming and relatable. The humor is subtle but effective, adding levity to an otherwise heavy subject matter. The performances are strong, with Perry, Foster, and Goodwin delivering nuanced and empathetic portrayals of their characters.

Overall, Birds of America is a touching and heartfelt exploration of family, love, and the struggles we all face in life. It is a poignant reminder that no matter how broken we may feel, there is always hope for healing and reconciliation.

Birds of America
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (5,557)