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Birds of America


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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Perry, Hilary Swank, Lauren Graham, Ben Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin
  • Directors: Craig Lucas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: FIRST LOOK PICTURES
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AR011U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Morrie (Matthew Perry, Friends) is the keeper of all things family related, including his siblings. In this comedic foray into sibling relationships, Morrie's little brother Jay (Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma, X-Men: The Last Stand) is beyond peculiar, homeless and humorously, but clinically, depressed. His beautiful sister Ida (Ginnifer Goodwin, Big Love) is a promiscuous insomniac and sometime photographer that is starved for attention. Morrie's wife Betty (Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls) has waited patiently for seven years for their hard work to pay off so they can start a family. Morrie's life is unraveling. As his family's antics infuriate his boss and neighbor, his dreams of success are quickly destroyed. Morrie gets a wake-up call and he comes to realize that the people who really care for him will stand by his side no matter what.

Customer Reviews

Also loved Hillary Swank and Ginnifer Goodwin.
Movie Man
Although some of the subjects and explorations this movie takes are genuine and interesting, there's too much of the oddity in here to be truly appreciated.
AIROLF
Essentially this dysfunctional film implodes on itself in numerous ways, so much so that any description of the plot or otherwise would just be boring.
Steve Kuehl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Carvalho on February 1, 2011
Format: DVD
I just watched again this movie and I'm surprised about how much I like it and how many messages are passed between the lines. There are little touches here and there that make this movie not explicitly didactic (which usually happens nowadays, and is so hideous), allowing our personal questions to rise. Like, when in the end the "break all the rules outsider guy" realizes even that motto can imprison life experiences and bending that, although a paradox, can make room to other nice moments shared.
The director and the actors could have easily overdone it and blown the recipe. Instead, they give believable performances with true soul.
Who does not have a beloved one who's kookoo?
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve Kuehl VINE VOICE on October 18, 2008
Format: DVD
Essentially this dysfunctional film implodes on itself in numerous ways, so much so that any description of the plot or otherwise would just be boring. The only two reasons to see this would be to watch the range that Ben Foster and Ginnifer Goodwin have. I liked Foster in 3:10 to Yuma and I think this role helped show his variety, as with Goodwin.

This is not a film to grab if you think Hillary Swank, Perry or Graham do anything special. Swank has 5 scenes, Perry spends half the film on a toilet (toilet humor does not work for me anymore) and Graham just seemed to miss it. Watching Perry scoop dog crap up well over ten times didn't work for me either. I like the films from First Look, but this one doesn't meet the grade of competency, except for Foster building a solid foundation - and when I think about it he actually had more screen time than anyone, so maybe they should change the cover art to him.
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Format: DVD
In truth, I'm no big fan of Matthew Perry. I've followed his career through many failed series prior to "Friends" and used to genuinely like him. He has talent, but his filmed persona rarely varies and I tire of seeing the same character in all his work. To his credit, Perry does attempt the straight man role in the quirk filled "Birds of America" and his downplaying is admirable--but, in the end, it is the more eccentric characters that enliven this hit-or-miss family dramedy by Craig Lucas. Lucas, a writer of some import (most notably in theater as well as "Longtime Companion"), here adapts an interesting, if uneven, screenplay by Elyse Friedman. In addition to Perry, some rather big names were attached to the film and that's what drew my interest in this piece. I'd never even heard of this movie but with Ben Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lauren Graham and Hilary Swank on board--it's a pretty impressive cast.

Perry plays a discontent teacher trying hard to please everyone in his life. Repressing his real feelings, he has raised his troublesome siblings (Foster and Goodwin) since his parents' death and is still dealing with their deviant behavior into adulthood. He is also struggling to keep things on an even keel at work where tenure is up for grabs, and his supportive wife (Graham) is looking to start a family sometime soon. An impromptu reunion is assembled when Foster is involved in an accident. Foster is disconnected, uncommunicative, possibly disturbed, and harboring plenty of secrets. Goodwin fares slightly better--she's only promiscuous, a compulsive liar, and running from any real adult responsibility. In the grand scheme of things, Perry's bowel movements seem like comparatively normal problems!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chrissy K. McVay VINE VOICE on November 29, 2008
Format: DVD
A quirky family trying to hang onto their sanity struggles to be there for one another, even as they are each emotionally falling apart. Mathew Perry stars as the sibling that had to grow up too fast after his dad has an 'accident' (or did he?) and his mother dies, leaving him to care for his younger siblings at the age of eighteen. His early struggles leave him rigid and fearful of change, or standing up for himself. When his strange sister and unbalanced brother come to stay with him his control over his life unravels so far that he may never be able to pull it together again. A look at unique and bizarre characters in this story of a family flailing along, trying to hold their heads above water and nearly taking each other under in the process.

Chrissy K. McVay - Author
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Format: DVD
Birds of America tries to be amusing and unusual but doesn't truly make it. I'd recommend watching this for some good performances by Matthew Perry, Ben Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin and Lauren Graham. Hilary Swank's talent is largely wasted on a rather small role and the toilet humor (with Perry's character literally spending huge amounts of time sitting on the toilet) didn't work too well for me, either. However, the movie does flow along and the cinematography impressed me. The script is just average but then again the musical score wasn't all that bad.

Physics teacher Morrie Tanager (Matthew Perry) yearns for tenure; and after seven years of teaching he is finally eligible for it--as long as his next door neighbor and boss/quasi -friend Paul (Gary Wilmes) gives Morrie political support. Trouble is, Morrie and his wife Betty (Lauren Graham) can't stand snooty Paul and his wife Laura (Hilary Swank); but they lead a very straight laced life merely to get in good with Paul and Laura. Worse trouble for Morrie comes when he is chronically constipated (for months, he says?) and his nutty brother Jay (Ben Foster) and his rather loose sister and also nutty sister Ida (Ginnifer Goodwin) descend upon their household just as Morrie is finally up for tenure. This, of course, drives Morrie and Betty crazy; they are also embarrassed and ashamed of Jay and Ida whenever Paul and Laura see them. Moreover, Morrie and Betty fight over whether they should start trying to have a baby and Morrie is the polar opposite of Jay and Ida.

There's still more where this came from; and there are a few plot twists that will surprise you. The movie itself is nothing truly special; but it is light entertainment and that does have its value. I recommend this film for fans of the actors in it; and people who like quirky comedies might consider this--although I would walk and not run to get it. It's average.
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