Pieces of April | Chicago Reader

Pieces of April

The directorial debut of scenarist Peter Hedges (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy) is a slight comic drama about familial reconciliation. Katie Holmes stars as April Burns, a young East Village misfit trying to win back her estranged family by cooking them Thanksgiving dinner. Finding her oven is broken, she seeks help from her neighbors, a panoply of stock characters (a snippy gay man, a black yuppie couple, etc) that Hedges develops with a shallow but professional shorthand. Patricia Clarkson is wonderfully acerbic as April's cancer-afflicted mom, and the finale is surprisingly subtle and sweet, but the rest of this DV feature is as contrived as a sitcom. PG-13, 81 min.

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