Accidental Family Image

Accidental Family

By Alan Ng | December 2, 2022

I’ll say it over and over again: sometimes, telling the truth in every aspect of life prevents an impending headache that builds over time. But that would also make for bland storytelling, so Jason Hudson’s family-centric romance, Accidental Family, brings sweetness to the mistaken identity tale.

Accidental Family follows Olivia (Kinsey Leigh Redmond), who has been eyeing (or, as she confesses, stalking) the handsome Alex (Justen Jones) for quite some time at her local coffee shop. Every attempt to get him to notice her fails miserably. Olivia works for a genealogy company that compiles a historical artifact called a “heritage chest.” The chest contains documents, photos, newspaper clippings, and other sentimental items for any family.

As luck would have it, the box she needs to hand off to her client is for Alex’s family, the Baileys. When her client is a no-show, Olivia takes it upon herself to deliver the box to the unsuspecting Baileys. She is greeted by a family surprise party when she arrives at their home. A shocked Olivia throws the heritage chest in the air and lands on her head.

Olivia then wakes up in Grandmother Bailey’s nightgown, greeted by morning breakfast. Everyone in the family thinks Olivia is Olivia Bailey, a long-lost cousin whose been on our tour with the Peace Corps in the Congo. Not wanting to disappoint the family, Olivia goes on with the charade in hopes that she will spend time with Alex, who’s about to marry a gold-digger, Megan (Michelle Davidson). In the process, she finds love from a family she never had, being an orphan.

“…the family thinks Olivia is Olivia Bailey, a long-lost cousin whose been on our tour with the Peace Corps…”

Accidental Family is not exactly in the wheelhouse of the typical Film Threat reader looking for a dark piercing taking into human depravity. But for someone who’s spent more than my fair share of family Christmas dinners, this is safe, fun, and, if you can open your heart, just a bit romantic.

Being a family-friendly film, the film does suffer in ways indicative of the genre. The comedy is too over-the-top, with exaggerated facial and body movements by most of the cast. Dialogue is spoken in the comic tone of, say, The  Brady Bunch. And, of course, the ending is 100% happy. I just have to believe this genre can ground itself more and feel authentic to how people act in real life.

Criticism aside, Kinsey Leigh Redmond is the star. As Olivia, she has a lot of dramatic and comedic plotlines to juggle. She’s vulnerable, lovable, and charismatic, and you believe that everyone she meets wants to be her friend. Huge credit for not making this aspect of her character not feel corny in any way.

My problem with stories like Accidental Family is that the idea of someone pretending to be a family member is sometimes too unbelievable for even audiences to buy. There comes a point in the second act where we forget and want to believe this is Olivia’s family. Then the reveal… and well, delightful cringe ensues.

There is no blood, cursing, or deep seedy undertones. In the end, it’s not just a rom-com but a story about the true meaning of “family.” Accidental Family is safe to pull the entire family around the television, relax, and feel good about the loved ones around us.

Accidental Family (2022)

Directed and Written: Jason Hudson

Starring: Kinsey Leigh Redmond, Justen Jones, Michelle Davidson, Stephen Matlock, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Accidental Family Image

"…relax and feel good about the loved ones around us."

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  1. Rodney Stone says:

    Very much the pace of a good old Hallmark movie but with funnier characters such as Vinny lol with an I.
    I knew the silly would turn into sad but I did love the redeeming ending.
    I know the millennial audience will love this film.

  2. Harry Novak says:

    Where can I watch The Accidental Family?

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