It is a summer morning and Marius (Șerban Pavlu) wakes up with a hangover and swear words on his lips. He is divorced and the swearing is aimed at his ex-wife Otilia (Mihaela Sîrbu), who allows him to see his 5-year-old daughter Sofia (Sofia Nicolaescu) only occasionally. Everybody in Our Family depicts one day in a broken-up home, which develops from a family drama into a black comedy with vivid dialogues and great performances (especially Sofia Nicolaescu).
Once Marius enters his ex-apartment that his ex-wife took, everything is starting to fall apart. The atmosphere of tension is very dense and every inappropriate remark can produce an outburst of violence. And there are problems. Marius wants to take Sofia on a trip to the sea but due to her illness the day before, Coca (Tamara Buciuceanu-Botez), his ex-mother-in-law and Aurelius (Gabriel Spahiu), Otilia’s boyfriend do not want to let her go without her mother’s permission. At first, Marius is trying to resolve the situation in a peaceful way but as soon as he accidentally smashes Aurelius’s head with a door, the circle of violence starts turning. One would think that with Otilia’s arrival things would get resolved as she would play the role of the mother (and the ‘only’ adult person in the family) but let’s say Sofia is not the only child here. Things get more and more complicated and the adult’s behavior is as random as of a child.
The absurdness of the family drama set in a small apartment creates the comical side of the film. Moreover, the dialogues are written in a stunningly dynamic and authentic way, which gives them a fast flow. The colorful and unimaginable way of expressing expletives reminds one of a child’s game: the one who will say the most hurtful and at the same time most original swear word will be the winner. Also, the great performances are a strong feature of the film, where the middle-aged characters are portrayed with a great sense of dark humor.
Jude takes us to the Romanian family microcosm created by complex relationships, immature characters and vivid dialogues and manages to do it in a black comedy style. The film is thus one of the most refreshing East-European pieces of cinema produced in the past two years.
by Michaela Pňačeková