There's always something weird going on behind the white picket fences of American suburbia. And while The Safety Of Objects doesn't have severed ears, splattered frogs or a boy with scissors for hands, it doesn't do "normal" either. If you don't believe us, how many streets do you know where there's a twentysomething man in a coma, a pubescent boy with a doll fixation and a guy who becomes foam-at-the-mouth obsessed with helping a neighbour win a car?
Writer/director Rose Troche - the woman behind gay comedies Go Fish and Bedrooms And Hallways - has here taken a series of short stories by controversial author AM Homes (WH Smith got in a huff about her paedophilia-tinged novel The End Of Alice) and woven them smartly together.
Even better, she has a crack cast on board to bring it all to vibrant life - and ensured that they don't overdo the idiosyncracies of their characters. It's a wise move, their downplaying allowing the viewer emotional attachment where OTT theatrics would afford only surface laughs. It's an ensemble triumph but Go's drug dealer Timothy Olyphant deserves special mention, his seemingly banal gardener proving, of course, anything but.
The Safety Of Objects may not have "multiplex hit" stamped all over it, but it's a well-plotted, moving drama that proves what we've all hoped: everyone else's families are just as odd as our own.