The Ref

A pretty funny satire (1994) about a dysfunctional, argumentative American family, headed by Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey, going ballistic at Christmastime. A jewel thief played by Denis Leary kidnaps the quarreling couple and winds up functioning as a combined family therapist and comrade-in-arms when the horrid in-laws turn up for dinner. What makes most of this work is the brio of the acting, though the direction by Ted Demme and the script by Richard LaGravenese and Marie Weiss certainly don’t hurt. With Glynis Johns, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., and Raymond J. Barry. R, 93 min. (JR)

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