REVIEW: ‘The Perfect Family’ – Not Perfect But Still Sweet

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The Perfect Family - But Why Tho

The Perfect Family is a Spanish-language Netflix Original directed by Arantxa Echevarría and written by Olatz Arroyo. When Pablo’s (Gonzalo Ramos) family meets Sara’s (Carolina Yuste) family, at first it’s a disaster. He comes from a posh, wealthy world and she comes from a world his parents would never even look at, let alone inhabit. But when they start to spend some time together, things begin to take a turn. Then they take a few more turns from there.

This movie isn’t about Pablo and Sara. Their story is swell and all, but it’s really a vehicle for the true main character, Pablo’s mother, Lucía (Belén Rueda). She’s lived her whole life until this point playing out the perfect expectation of a loving wife and mother. Unfortunately, it’s led her to be totally unfulfilled otherwise. A perfect family is nice, but is it enough? When she meets Sara’s father, Miguel (Jose Coronado), her whole world changes. The movie is set in two acts, before Pablo and Sara’s wedding and after. While the first half is largely a setup for the second, it quickly becomes worth the wait as the payoff works better than I could have expected.

It’s one of those simple premises you think you know what you’re getting into from the start. A wealthy family meets a poor family, they hate each other at first but find commonality enough to get by and love each other. I actually almost didn’t bother watching it because I’ve grown tired of the number of these types of family-affair movies Netflix has put out recently. Fortunately, though, that’s not what this movie is at all. It’s not interested in making amends, reconciling differences, or putting the two families back into their perfect places by the end. It’s much more interested in exploring the messiness of love, family, and self-discovery that are what makes life actually interesting. People make up and happy things happen throughout, sure, but it’s about the journey more than anything.

The movie is also certifiably funny. Each character has their own specific wit or whim that had me cackling, even when it also left my eyes rolling from time to time. But that’s the nice thing about this type of movie; it’s predictable enough in its comedy and its pattern that it’s easy to watch but different enough that it’s worth the nearly two hours it takes to enjoy. I found myself surprised halfway through by how much there was still to go, but that was a completely tossed away thought by the end, as the two-act structure really feels like the perfect fit for the story it told. It would be totally acceptable to stop the movie at the midway point and pick it back up later like a two-episode affair without feeling like you’ve stopped it abruptly.

The Perfect Family is a simple movie with a far more nuanced direction and final ending point than its premise may first lead you to assume. Focusing on Lucía’s perspective and journey rather than the couple at hand makes for a far more interesting entry to the rom-com genre, assisted by an altogether quite funny and enjoyable cast.

The Perfect Family is streaming now on Netflix.

Author

  • Pop culture is cool, but have you ever tried analyzing it through a historical and cultural lens so that you can not only understand the content more deeply, but be able to apply lessons to your own life through the act of criticizing it? No? Just me? Oh… Well, your loss. When I’m not editing the podcast or musing the effects media have on our lives, I’m off working to develop sustainable food systems. So remember, individual consumer choices won't save the planet, Black lives matter and reparations must be paid, and remember to think critically about the pop culture you consume!


The Perfect Famil
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

The Perfect Family is a simple movie with a far more nuanced direction and final ending point than its premise may first lead you to assume. Focusing on Lucía’s perspective and journey rather than the couple at hand makes for a far more interesting entry to the rom-com genre, assisted by an altogether quite funny and enjoyable cast.

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