The Willoughbys tries to straddle the line between being playfully grim and downright bizarre but, instead, alternates from being one or the other. Based on Lois Lowry’s children’s book and evoking memories of stranger family fare like James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Willoughbys is a unique endeavour that will make you laugh as much as it will straight-up weird you out.
Ricky Gervais revels in button-pushing humour, and he’s proven to transcend those same gags by stripping away the glamourous sheen from the rich and famous. In film and television, he’s used this gusto to make satirical jabs at faith and goodwill (The Invention of Lying) as well as fluff up ignorant egos (UK’s The Office).
A little girl (Mackenzie Foy) is strictly structured by her all-business, all the time mom (Rachel McAdams). It’s summer time, and instead of playing she is to spend her days studying so she can impress her authorities at her oveestigious academy school, so she can get into a prestigious high school, so she can get into a prestigious university, so she can spend her adult life working hard and forcing her children to do the…