I recently just watched Peep World out of an interest in seeing Michael C. Hall outside of serial killer form. First I’d like to say Hall doesn’t have too much range, because I still got a crazy, serial killer vibe from him as a regular house husband. But seeing the rest of the cast, Rainn Wilson as a loser brother, Sarah Silverman as the bitchy sister, and what looks like John Ralfio from Parks and Recreation as the young ambitious brother that sold out his dysfunctional family’s dirty secrets for profit in the form of a book, it reminded me of other memorable dysfunctional families I’ve seen in movies and television. Peep World had an interesting idea, but the Meyerwitz family wasn’t dysfunctional or colorful enough as it could’ve been. Here’s 6 more dysfunctional families that makes me 10x more thankful for my own. Spoilers below.
Bluth Family – Arrested Development
The Bluth family were one of the most absurd families on television. And their return to the television AND film will yield even more hilarious antics. The Bluth family is a group of selfish individuals who constantly get in the way of their own recovery. Each member is as ridiculous as the next: A father who’s committed treason, an alcoholic mother, a selfish sister with her ambiguously gay husband, a failure magician older brother, a developmentally mental younger brother, and a son in love with his cousin, how does Michael Bluth keep it all together?
Top Dysfunctional Moment – The multiple moments of incestuous tension between more than one family member.
Tenembaum Family – The Royal Tenembaums
There is a man named Royal Tenembaum. He’s divorced and has never really cared for his wife and his genius children. In their younger days his children all grew up to be successful people: a star tennis player, a famous playwright, and a successful businessman, but now they have all grown up and are currently distant from their father. Royal randomly decides to fake a terminal illness in an attempt to get closer with them. When his ex wife and children are all gathered in the same house again after all these years, old problems resurface, incest unfolds, and a bunch of other quirkiness happens [it's not a Wes Anderson film without quirkiness]. Oh and Bill Murray is in it [it's not a Wes Anderson film without Bill Murray].
Top Dysfunctional Moment – More incestuous moments and a father faking cancer to get closer to his family.
Burnham Family – American Beauty
Lester Burnham is finally fed up with his mediocre, suburban life. He blackmails his office, quits his current job, and then works at his teenage job as a fast food employee. Far more than a midlife crisis, he then falls for his teenage daughter’s classmate, and often has dreams about her and begins revamping his body and lifestyle in order to impress her [yikes]. His wife Carolyn Burnham’s affair is getting out of order and his daughter is struggling to be recognized by either of her parents and turns to acting out as a way of getting their attention. Lester’s new lifestyle affects the home front in ways the Burnham family has never seen before and evolves to a point where they’ll never be the same again.
Top Dysfunctional Moment – A father who begins working out to look better so that he has a chance to have sex with her teenage daughter’s friend
Reynolds Family – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Another group of selfish individuals. Frank Reynolds and his twin children Dennis and Dee are the pinnacle of selfish arrogance. Frank is a rich man not willing to share his wealth with his spoiled children. Dennis views women as objects and has developed a system where he systematically makes women fall in love with him and breaks their hearts. Dee tries to con couples by claiming to be a surrogate mother and then lists the given away baby as a tax deductible where it leads her to being audited, which results her in holding a fake baby funeral. The family doesn’t get more prickish than that. The best part? Frank was never their real father. He was tricked into raising two children that weren’t his for more than 20 years.
Top Dysfunctional Moment: A father who buys everything his kids want from himself and how his children get addicted to crack cocaine.
Hoover Family – Little Miss Sunshine
Out of all the families here, I think the Hoover family might be my favorite. A bankrupt father, a divorced mother, a suicidal uncle, a silent brother that hates everyone, and a heroin addicted grandpa, poor Olive Hoover just wants to be Little Miss Sunshine. As a family, they must make their way across country for 900 miles in an old VW that can only run when they all push the car to get it into gear. More horrifically dark antics occur as they simply try and get there without tearing each other apart. All in all, this family probably has the most heart out of all the families lists which makes them my favorite.
Top Dysfunctional Moment: Stealing Grandpa from a Hospital. End of story.
The Berkman Family – The Squid and the Whale
Have you ever wanted to punch a family in the face? The Berkman family absolutely disgusts me. Their arrogant father, a whore of a mother, an older son with severe OCD, and a younger son who drinks and is a habitual masterbater. This family gets no redemption at the end, their life just crumbles before them and journey getting there isn’t an enjoyable one.
Top Dysfunctional Moment: Allowing the youngest son to become an alcoholic.
As always, let me know if I missed any.