'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

Worth Watching? "Life in Pieces'

Review of CBS' "Life in Pieces."
Pictured L-R, Zoe Lister Jones as Jen, Colin Hanks as Greg, James Brolin as John, Giselle Eisenberg as Sophia, Betsy Brandt as Heather, Dan Bakkedahl as Tim, Niall Cunningham as Tyler, Holly Barrett as Samantha, Thomas Sadoski as Matt and Diane Wiest as Joan. (Photo: Neil Jacobs/CBS)
The new CBS comedy, Life in Pieces, is such a sad disaster. Clearly trying to come up with their own version of Modern Family, Life in Pieces falls short on many levels, which is very sad given that it features an excellent cast but also weak and tasteless writing. When watching the pilot you can’t help to think to yourself how much better this show could have been.

The show partially gets its name from that fact that each half hour episode is divided up into four short stories about one large family. The cast includes:

  • Patriarch and matriarch of the family: John (James Brolin) and Joan (Dianne Wiest)
  • Oldest sister and her family: Heather (Betsy Brandt) and husband Tim (Dan Bakkedahl) and their three children: Tyler (Niall Cunningham), Samantah (Holly J. Barrett) and Sophia (Giselle Eisenberg).
  • Middle brother and his girlfriend: Matt (Thomas Sadoski) and Colleen (Angelique Cabral)
  • Youngest Brother and his wife: Greg (Colin Hanks) and Jen (Zoe Lister-Jones)


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