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By Eric Campos | May 15, 2005

For masochists who actually enjoy family gatherings, or perhaps for folks who really don’t have families of their own, it’s films like this one that provide a virtual family environment, complete with petty arguments, jealousies, rumors, pointless stories and sometimes even full-blown hate…but only when the party has really started. “Chopping Block” presents a mockumentary of a documentary a would-be film student shoots of her family in an attempt to provide an in-depth look into the typical modern American family. So, cue the petty arguments, jealousies, rumors and pointless stories, with a good helping of humor of course. But it’s not until a cherished family heirloom, a chopping block, goes missing that the full-blown hate kicks in.

Twenty-five professional actors teamed up to provide this tale of family strife that was completely improvised and they pull off a good job. The loose story structure paves the way for these actors to have fun with their characters as they portray the terrors of suburban family life without going too overboard. This isn’t “Meet the Parents”. This is a more realistic look at family and the joy (pain) it can bring.

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