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"All Relative": When Rom-Coms Attack: Sleeping with Your Girlfriend's Mother 

Tuesday, Nov 18 2014
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J.C. Khoury's film is the standard romantic comedy of the sort that David Wain's They Came Together expertly skewered, so much so that it's surprising nobody in All Relative refers to New York City being a character in the story. As the perky Grace (Sara Paxton) and the hunky Harry (Jonathan Sadowski) hang out and flirt without quite consummating their relationship, Harry has a brief affair with Grace's mother Maren (Connie Nielsen). Of course, Harry doesn't realize Maren is Grace's mother until Grace takes him to meet her folks upstate, after a month of them montaging their way through Central Park and all the other places pretty couples romp through in montages. (And without Grace ever mentioning her parents' names, evidently.) Predictable wackiness ensues as Maren and Harry realize who the other is, and indeed, All Relative hits all the rom-com beats. The very blond Grace even has a brunette friend (Sarah Steele) who gets a few lines during Grace and Harry's meet-cute and then disappears from the movie, while Harry's happily married black best friend (Al Thompson) pops up occasionally to dispense sage advice. Ultimately, All Relative is inoffensive entertainment, and its worst crime is not experimenting more with the genre. But the genre is the way it is for a reason.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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