I noticed the average rating for this film was a 3ish. I gave it a four because it managed to make an uncomfortable story accessible and funny even if it isn't relatable. Most people don't like that I suppose. I couldn't fathom how family could break down quite this way but I encourage you to watch until the end, and it'' pay off. Family is a beautiful thing but in this age, having one is just so much harder.
Given what I'd always heard about it, and also given what Russell would become with all his subsequent movies, I was surprised this wasn't the whacked-out screwball babbling cartoon ensemble incest story I'd been imagining. It's really just a quiet & subdued incest story with a lot more going on than the shock value of its logline and title would have you believe.
O. Russell started as he meant to go on with another dark and deadpan comedy, controversial upon release due to it’s inclusion of an incestual mother-son storyline. Those scenes are handled with taste and fit in well with the film’s overarching themes of neurosis, sexual discovery and over-parenting. Bold and brave; it’s a strong debut.