Human lives grappling with all the flavors of exstential despair intersect in a deadpan collage of comic suffering.
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Desperate to jar herself from the rich tedium of picture-perfect Beverly Hills, Sophie moves across town to another world: Echo Park. She quickly strikes up an unexpected connection with Alex, a handsome neighbor and British expat who is reluctantly selling his beloved home to move back to London. As the summer passes, a romance driven by uncertainty compels them to reassess where each belongs.
Earlene arrives at Venice Beach after running away from an estranged lover, only to become fast friends with an Australian skater who is also lost. Together, they set out into the desert to find themselves.
Four teenage boys devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by pursuing a dream life of professional skateboarding. But when they get caught in the web of the local queenpin, their motley brotherhood is tested, threatening to make this summer their last.
Middle-aged widow Beatrice Hunsdorfer (Joanne Woodward) and her daughters Ruth (Roberta Wallach) and Matilda (Nell Potts) are struggling to survive in a society they barely understand. Beatrice dreams of opening an elegant tea room but does not have the wherewithal to achieve her lofty goal. Epileptic Ruth is a rebellious adolescent, while shy but highly intelligent and idealistic Matilda seeks solace in her pets and school projects, including one designed to show how small amounts of radium affect marigolds.
This year Christmas with the Whitfields promises to be one they will never forget. All the siblings have come home for the first time in years and they’ve brought plenty of baggage with them. As the Christmas tree is trimmed and the lights are hung, secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested. As their lives converge, they join together and help each other discover the true meaning of family.