Pieces of April

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Pieces of April ★★½ 2003 (PG-13)

Delightfully dysfunctional family meets for a chaotic Thanksgiving when tattooed New Yorker April (Holmes) has her suburban family join her for holiday dinner. The family trip to NYC is rife with humorous dramas and sidetracks involving roadkill and Mom bogarting little bro's stash. Meanwhile in the city, domestically-challenged April's oven breaks down while seemingly nice new boyfriend Bobby's behavior hints that something dark is afoot. Despite a misleading and slightly disturbing subplot involving Bobby (Luke) and a somewhat hasty ending, film is entertaining and original. Completed in three weeks on a limited budget ($200,000) with surprisingly slick digital camerawork. 81m/ C VHS, DVD . US Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt, Derek Luke, Alison Pill, Alice Drummond, Sean P. Hayes, John Gallagher Jr., Sisqo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Lillias White; D: Peter Hedges; W: Peter Hedges; C: Tami Reiker; M: Stephin Merritt. Natl. Bd. of Review ‘03: Support. Actress (Clarkson); Natl. Soc. Film Critics ‘03: Support. Actress (Clarkson).