The Estate Review (2022), Dean Craig
Directed by: Dean Craig | 97 minutes | comedy | Actors: Toni Collette, Anna Faris, David Duchovny, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kathleen Turner, Ron Livingston, Keyla Monterroso Mejia, Danny Vinson, Gichi Gamba, Patricia French, Eric Esteban, Kim Baptiste, Billy Slaughter, Ronald Chavis
Things don’t go so well for sisters Macy and Savanna. Their crummy dinner somewhere in Louisiana isn’t very profitable. Macy’s relationship is on the rocks and Savanna missed the turn to adulthood. But then the sisters learn that their Aunt Hilda doesn’t have long to live and that an inheritance may be on the way. So it’s a good idea to strengthen ties with this aunt. Two challenges: Aunt Hilda is a horrible person and the rest of the family has also come to the inheritance.
In the comedy “The Estate” we see how these family members make their lives miserable, how they want to serve Aunt Hilda in all sorts of ways, and how they sometimes form a coalition. And we see how Cousin Richard tries to woo his cousins, because that too can’t be missed in a film set in a trashy environment in the southern United States.
A big, garish house, an inheritance and a money-hungry family: it all seems straight out of an old English farce. Not so. At first, ‘The Estate’ is mostly an incredibly bland monstrosity. There’s a lot of swearing and ranting, a few stinky poo jokes and we hit rock bottom when super straight Richard explains why he prefers to be called Dick (“I love Dick”).
It’s only when the film progresses a bit that you realize you’re watching an (attempted) black comedy. The sisters’ schemes to obtain their inheritance get more and more silly, the characters become more and more exaggerated and the jokes become more and more absurd. Unlike an “ordinary” comedy, where there is always room for emotion and the moving, there is nothing to feel in “The Estate”. In this case a good quality.
As a dark comedy, this movie is reasonable to listen to, but it still doesn’t cut it. The acting is hit or miss, with Toni Colette as the predictable bright spot and Anna Faris failing miserably. Jokes are sometimes funny, but every good joke is invariably followed by corny action or lame dialogue. In short, “The Estate” is a film that dark comedy fans can probably enjoy, but all other fans should ignore.
Cinema release: November 24, 2022
VOD output: (Pathé Home)
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