When I received “They/Them/Us” for review it sounded somewhat like “Cheaper by the Dozen” made in 1950 followed by a 2003 remake. Yes my fear was cheese and a “Leave it to Beaver” squeaky clean film sanitized for all to see!
Thank goodness most of the cheese was sanitized out of this film and it has an adult feel to it best suited for mature audiences.
Charlie Goldman (Joey Slotnick) and Lisa Harper (Amy Hargreaves) are 40 somethings recently divorced. Charlie and Lisa meet on a dating site and hit it off very quickly. As for sexual preferences Lisa is into kink and likes to be dominated. Charlie is not of that ilk but to please Lisa takes kink lessons. So yes they do “hit” it off!
In a jiffy Charlie and Lisa decide to move into Charlie’s house. But there is a matter of their two children each! There is 18-year-old nonbinary Maddie Harper (Lexie Bean) who needs to be called “they” and her 15 year old sister Courtney (Sarah Eddy). On Charlie’s side there is pot smoking Danny (Jack Steiner) and his younger sister Anna (Shanna Strong). There is an initial bit of ill will between the children but over a short period of time that ill will disappears but it is a rough transition. Maddie is bullied and Danny has a drug problem.
So we are progressing nicely and looking for a cheesy ending right? But Danny overdoses on 4 tabs of acid and the girls put a little too much weed in their Lasagna. Chunks of cheese fall by the wayside at this point. Danny is not a forever lost soul as he is in a great deal of pain from the divorce and tries to unsuccessfully self medicate out of his trauma. That overdose puts a strain on Charlie and Lisa but Lisa willingly surrenders Charlie to care for Danny. Lisa wonders if their relationship is over but it is not.
OK then the movie has a bit of a rough happy ending and after seeing both adults and children coping with divorce, drug abuse, bullying and new sexual patterns by God they deserve the quasi-happy ending. Finally an adult “Cheaper by the Dozen” genre film that we had to wait 19 years for. The cheese has been left on the cutting room floor for the mice. The acting is strong throughout the entire cast. A shout out to Abi Van Andel as Charlie’s ex-wife Deborah who plays a selfish, self-righteous prig to the tee!
The film will be released in theatres in the United States on January 28, 2022 and then digitally for the rest of the world on February 1, 2022. You can see a trailer for the film which is written and directed by Jon Sherman here https://vimeo.com/581908613/4acaeff620
RKS Film Rating 90/100.