Kathleen Turner is an American treasure. When she made Serial Mom for John Waters, we knew that Turner was shedding the ingenue, the damsel-in-distress roles. She takes it further in The Perfect Family, a satire from director Anne Renton, whose background is in psychology and spirituality.
Eileen Cleary (Turner) is at a crossroads. She’s been nominated as the coveted Catholic Woman of the Year. The big news is delivered by Monsignor Murphy (Richard Cham-berlain). The only problem with Eileen’s nomination — well, there are many problems — is that the congregation and the clergy think she’s the matriarch of the perfect family. It’s not perfect, and Eileen is panicking, hoping to set the wayward family on the straight and narrow, and fast. The selection committee is planning to visit the house to see for themselves that everything is kosher — in a Catholic sense.
But all is not well for Eileen. Her daughter, Shannon, (Emily Des-chanel) is a lesbian in a committed relationship and five months pregnant.
“I really don’t understand this,” Eileen laments to her husband, Frank, a recovering alcoholic. “You don’t have to,” Frank says. As Eileen presses on to remold her family, she slowly realizes that they are very different people in their own ways. This is not the way Eileen wanted life to turn out.
The Perfect Family: Sundance Kabuki, 1865 Post Street (at Fillmore), multiple daily showtimes, opens May 11, $9.50–$11.50 ($1–$3 amenity fee may apply), 415-409-6878, www.sundancekabuki.com