The Reel

The Reel: Family United


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In Family United Director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo tells the story of a close family made up of a father and his five sons. The movie is centered on two main events, the 2010 World Cup final in which Spain was playing, and won, and the wedding of the youngest son Efrain to his childhood sweetheart Carla. Both of these events happen on the same day which is the reason for a lot of the background chaos.

Efrain’s father who is still heartbroken after his divorce eight years ago insists that all of his sons be present for the wedding. Even though the return of his eldest son, Caleb, from Kenya, might cause great tension with his other son Daniel and ruin the wedding. You see, two years prior to the wedding, Caleb left Spain unexpectedly without giving a reason to anyone, leaving his then girlfriend Cris heartbroken. Cris eventually found solace and love again in the arms of Daniel, and Caleb still thinks they are an item. The other two sons are depressive Adam, and Benjamin who has a mental illness that has kept his mind like a child.

The second complication of the plot is the love triangle that includes Efrain, his fiancé Carla and her twin sister Monica, who also was a Efrain’s childhood sweetheart. This leads to a discovery of Efrain’s feelings for Monica too, and his indecisiveness to choose. While all of these complications are happening during the wedding the guests are struggling to keep their attention on the wedding as they are all trying to watch the World Cup finals. Essentially nobody cares about the wedding. In addition the father has an angina attack during the ceremony which puts him in a critical condition. While all of this chaos is happening the family is forced to deal with their problems.

This movie is funny, witty and sad all at the same time. I found the movie to be just ok until the last 15 minutes of the movie. There is a big reveal at the end of the movie which explains so many things, and ties everything together so well. It is also a nice twist because it’s so unexpected, emotional, and it will make you look at this family in a whole different way. This is the first Spanish movie I have watched so I have no other references to comment on the acting. Was it all believable? Yes it was; especially Adam and Benjamin. However I didn’t care for their storyline. I didn’t see it fit with the rest of the story and I thought it took away valuable time that could have been taken to develop other characters. Daniel for example was too mysterious of a character, and I would have loved to see his character develop. Know more about him other than the fact that he doesn’t think he is good like his brother. I had an issue with Efrain being so young and marrying, when it was obvious that he shouldn’t get married the moment Monica got into the camera shot and you see their eyes meet. I guess for me it was too obvious and predictable. Caleb is a cutie so it was difficult to see past that (smile). It couldn’t have done anything wrong in my eyes (smile).

I give it 5 stars.

This is not available on Netflix streaming.

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