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Pieces Of April review

A mushy, sentimental comedy, shot on digital video with an ultra-low budget, Pieces Of April has "indie crowdpleaser" stencilled all over it. It's the directorial debut of What's Eating Gilbert Grape screenwriter Peter Hedges and it's a slushy Thanksgiving drama about wayward twentysomething April (Katie Holmes) and her attempts to prepare a reconciliatory dinner for her family.

Pieces may not be a complete turkey but it comes with plenty of trimmings, borrowing heavily from the (far superior) road movie The Daytrippers. It also piles on the clichés in a shameless attempt to get us bawling into our handkerchiefs. Not a hope - it's hard to cry at events we've seen countless times before.

A pair of captivating performances from both Oliver Platt and Patricia Clarkson (who also shines in this month's Dogville) as April's parents offer a hint of warmth, but this is decidedly undercooked. Rather like April's ill-fated meal, really.

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