When an octogenarian abuela suggests to her immediate family that they ride to a wedding far from their Buenos Aires home base, problems arise as soon as the clan boards their run-down motor home: a stray dog joins the group, pesky road cops ask for everyone’s identity papers, and one woman’s vicious toothache threatens to permanently sidetrack the mission. Besides running out of gas and breaking down at various points, the motor home is the stage for flaring tempers and impromptu make-out sessions between cousins and, later, a woman and her brother-in-law. Rolling Family is gimmicky in the sense that director Pablo Trapero understands that people will do wild and crazy things when forced to live together inside a sardine container, but while the film is completely unpretentious and moves at a pleasant pace, it’s also featherweight. Maybe it’s the lack of affection exchanged between the cast of non-actors, but the film’s characters are scarcely believable as a family unit. The equivalent of looking through a family member’s home movies, Rolling Family is truly less than the sum of its parts, and though Trapero’s snapshots of familial discord don’t seem to add up to very much, the film’s final sequence is a stunner: The story’s matriarch stares into the distant fields outside where the clan wedding took place, and in her weathered expression Trapero evokes the peace of mind of a person who is very much above the petty bickering of a family too self-absorbed to ever find the time to love one another. For anyone who’s had to endure long car trips with their parents and siblings, or excruciating family get-togethers, Trapero’s celebration of “me” time becomes a welcomed breather.
- Palm Pictures
- 103 min
- Pablo Trapero
- Pablo Trapero
- Graciana Chironi, Liliana Capurro, Ruth Dobel, Federico Esquerro, Bernardo Forteza, Laura Glave, Leila Gomez, Nicolás López, Sol Ocampo, Marianela Pedano, Carlos Resta, Raul Viñona
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