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Cast: Dianna Agron and Simon Helberg, with Candice Bergen, Dustin Hoffman, Justin Chu Cary, Charlie Weber, and Julian Gant

Director: Mayim Bialik

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Year: 2022

Rating: R

As They Made Us follows Abigail (Agron), a divorced mother of two, who is struggling to find sanity in her dysfunctional family as she attempts to cultivate new love. Her father, Eugene (Hoffman), has a degenerative condition that he and his wife, Barbara (Bergen), refuse to accept. Her brother Nathan (Helberg) has been estranged from the family for decades. A self-appointed fixer, Abigail attempts to mend her complicated family before itís too late.

Moving between present-day and flashbacks to a chaotic and confusing childhood, Abigail juggles parenting her young sons with her annoyingly competent ex-husband Peter (Weber) and trying to land a cover story at the news magazine she works for. Barbara barely gives Abigail a moment of peace, calling her to clean up messes every time Eugene falls or when a nurse sneaks him weed gummy bears against her wishes. Barbaraís intrusiveness proves amusing to Abigailís crush, her landscaper Jay (Chu Cary), but itís yet another part of Abigailís life which she finds unable to disentangle her familyís insanity.

Navigating Eugeneís degenerative condition and Barbaraís manic hostility is alternately hilarious and heartbreakingly cringe-worthy. Family struggles range from fights over birthday cake to wheelchair mechanical snafus to Barbaraís bizarre behavior at doctorís appointments. Things come to a head when Nathan agrees to visit Eugene, but only if Barbara isnít present. Barbara begrudgingly agrees to let them have their reunion, and Nathan and Eugeneís visit is bittersweet. However, Barbara cannot resist spoiling Abigailís joy, leaving Abigail to once again choose between her comfort and that of her mother. Eugeneís health worsens and with his passing, Nathan and Abigail begin to repair their relationship and, in turn, their family.

'AsThey Made Us' tells the story a dysfunctional family who are trying their best to get through a tough time. We are all a bit dysfunctional but this family is out there, especially the mother who exaggerates and constantly puts people down. It is the reason their son hasn't visited in 20 years.

This type of drama that deals with losing a loved one is a real tear jerker most of the time but Writer/Director, Mayim Bialik does a great job mixing a bit of humor in with the drama. So you get a film that is heartbreaking, touching, funny and by the time the story ends you get a little hope as well.

It is an engaging film made better by its young and veteran cast. Dianna Agron, Simon Helberg, Candice Bergen and Dustin Hoffman headline a great supporting cast. 'As They Made Us' is not going to be a film for main stream movie goers you like action and explosions but it should find its audience with those who like a down to earth story and a cast of Hollywood greats. The film opens April 8, 2022 in Theaters and Digital/VOD. I enjoyed this little gem and recommend it to all.

Released by Quiver Distribution

**** Out Of *****