Better Living (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 4, 2000 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

In this dark comedy, three sisters try to make the most of their lives in a supremely dysfunctional family. Maryann (Catherine Corpeny), Elizabeth (Deborah Hedwall), and Gail (Wendy Hoopes) were raised by their eccentric mother Nora (Olympia Dukakis), mostly without the help of their father Tom (Roy Scheider), a policeman who left the house 15 years earlier and never came back. Now Maryann is a nervous wreck who cries most of the time, Elizabeth is a lawyer who works as a public defender and doesn't enjoy it very much, and Gail prefers to stay home with her dumb lug of a boyfriend, Junior (James Villemarie). However, they're all busy dealing with Nora, who has decided to build a cavern in the basement (with the help of a jackhammer that threatens to destroy the house), and Tom, who has made an unexpected return after developing a survivalist bent. The sisters eventually have to enlist the help of their Uncle Jack (Edward Herrmann), a priest with rather lax moral fiber, to get things back to "normal." This was the debut feature for writer/director Max Mayer.



basement, craziness, dysfunctional, eccentric, mother, priest, sister, survivalist, uncle