Most of us are probably painfully aware of the stress of the holidays when it comes to familial relationships. Films about families tell the one story that practically anyone can relate to. So in the spirit of feeling better about ourselves I've compiled a list of some of the most dysfunctional families in film. Maybe after taking a look at some big-screen dysfunction, we can sit back and take a little solace in that at least none of us have to sit down to Christmas dinner with any of the people on the following list.
1. Spanking the Monkey
Before he was famous on You Tube for his demented freak-out on the set of I Heart Huckabees, David O. Russell was famous for making the unthinkable; a comedy about incest. Monkey stars Alberta Watson as Susan Aibelli; a lonely and depressed mother who develops a sexual relationship with her son after they are left alone together for the summer. Jeremy Davis stars as her son and the subject of this unlikely coming-of-age story. The film might not be for the weak of heart, but it did manage to win an audience award at Sundance in 1994, and was responsible for turning Russell into the megalomaniac we've all come to know and love.
2. Ordinary People
Besides going down in infamy as the film that beat Raging Bull out of a 'Best Picture Oscar', this 1981 drama about a family dealing with the loss of it's 'favored son' was the directorial debut of Robert Redford. Timothy Hutton stars as the younger brother who is readjusting to life after a botched suicide attempt. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore also star as the parents to Hutton and Judd Hirsch as the prototypical 'earthy NY Jewish' psychiatrist. So for anyone who watched Mary Tyler Moore as the epitome of 'chirpiness' during the seven year run of her self-titled series, get ready to be blown away, because her performance as a cold and repressed suburban mom is one of the best there is.