Dark Shadows (2012)
The Family: The Collins family, an austere collection of oddballs whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of an ancient ancestor, who just so happens to be a vampire. Not that they were particularly normal before he showed up… any family with a live-in psychologist surely has a bit of a question mark hanging over them!
Most Dysfunctional Element: It would be giving the game away to explain too many of the family's secrets, suffice to say that nearly every member is harbouring one, each more shocking than the last. When the vampire is the normal one, you know you're in trouble.
How To Make Them Functional: Everybody needs to sit down in a non-judgemental sphere and get everything out in the open. There. Doesn't that feel better?
Savage Grace (2007)
The Family: Mothers and sons eh? What a complex relationship that is. The Baekelands take things to the next level however, with the weirdly sexual bond between fading actress Julianne Moore and her closeted son Eddie Redmayne. Already a little over-familiar to begin with, the discovery of her son's homosexuality sends mummy careening over the edge, as she tries to get him attracted to the ladies in the weirdest way possible…
Most Dysfunctional Element: Would you like us to spell it out for you? They have a thing… together. Urgh…
How To Make Them Functional: Both of them could do with a new man. The sooner the better!
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
The Family: Probably the most famously dysfunctional family in the history of popular culture, the Simpsons are no role models, but are thoroughly redeemed by their obvious love for one another. George Bush might have encouraged Americans to be "more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons", but we know who we'd rather hang out with.
Most Dysfunctional Element: Homer's parenting skills probably fill this berth, although we'd argue that every time he throttles Bart, there's a good-natured attempt to bond with Lisa to balance it out. He tries his best, after all.
How To Make Them Functional: Electro-shock treatment famously didn't work, and Marge and Homer have been to numerous psychologists and parenting experts, to little avail. Best let them get on with it then...
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The Family: The Hoovers represent three generations of weirdos, from a young girl obsessed with beauty pageants to her smut obsessed grandfather, via a teenage boy who's taken a vow of silence and his suicidally depressed uncle. Still, there's rarely a dull moment when they all get together!
Most Dysfunctional Element: He means well, but when a grandfather teaches his granddaughter a dance routine he picked up in a strip joint, alarm bells should be ringing.
How To Make Them Functional: Send them off on a cross-country road-trip to take their youngest to compete in a beauty pageant. They seem more or less okay by the end!
Buffalo '66 (1998)
The Family: The Brown family aren't big on communication. How else could you explain their only son going to prison for five years without them noticing anything amiss? At least young Billy has turned out alright. You know, apart from the whole kidnapping a stranger and passing her off as his new bride thing.
Most Dysfunctional Element: Mrs. Brown's obsession with American football doesn't seem entirely healthy, particularly when there are more pressing matters to attend to closer to home.
How To Make Them Functional: Perhaps seeing their son get married might spark the family dynamic back into life. However, something tells us that relationship isn't exactly built to last either...
The Shining (1980)
The Family: The Torrance family might be hampered slightly by the presence of a host of malevolent spirits, but it's only too apparent that things aren't exactly peachy before they even clap eyes on the Overlook. Daddy has a drink problem, clearly can't stand his wife and little Danny is troubled by some kind of paranormal sixth sense. It's a recipe for disaster…
Most Dysfunctional Element: While the novel suggests that Jack is just a weak man preyed upon by the hotel, the movie version is only too happy to lose the plot. A couple days worth of snow and he's swinging that axe like there's no tomorrow!
How To Make Them Functional: A writer's retreat to somewhere tropical, with a nearby beach and decent room service. Anybody would lose the plot rattling round an abandoned hotel for months on end!
Arsenic And Old Lace (1944)
The Family: With a pair of batty old aunts with an unfortunate habit of poisoning people, one brother who think's he's Teddy Roosevelt and another who's a fully paid-up psychopath, it's no wonder Mortimer Brewster is doing cartwheels at the revelation he was adopted. Talk about a get-out-of-jail-free card!
Most Dysfunctional Element: The various murders are pretty unfortunate, but it's poor old Teddy we feel sorry for, attempting to dig the Suez canal in the basement, and screaming "Charge" every time he goes up a flight of stairs.
How To Make Them Functional: There's not much hope for this lot, sadly. Prison and the asylum is where they end up, and we'd have to say, it's the best place for them!
Star Wars (1977)
The Family: The Skywalker clan are a troubled bunch, and most of that trouble seems to land itself on the shoulders of the hapless Luke. As if it weren't bad enough that he's at loggerheads with his father (who just so happens to be the biggest wrong 'un in the galaxy), he's also fallen wildly in love with a girl who turns out to be his sister. The guy just can't catch a break.
Most Dysfunctional Element: It's a barometer of just how icky Luke and Leia's kiss is that it manages to make a father and son's attempts to kill each other seem like the most natural thing in the world.
How To Make Them Functional: Communication is the key here. If all of them had been privy to the relevant information at the appropriate time, they wouldn't have got themselves into such a mess.
American Beauty (1999)
The Family: The Burnham family might not be perfect, but in comparison with the Fitts clan, they look like the Waltons! To recap, Colonel Fitts is abusive and unstable (not to mention his fondness for Nazi crockery), his wife is practically comatose and his son is a drug-dealing, starey-eyed oddball who records everything on his videocamera. And that's before Colonel Fitts' big secret comes to light!
Most Dysfunctional Element: Poor old Colonel Fitts is harbouring secret homosexual urges, which would go some way towards explaining his behaviour. That in itself might be possible to overcome, if it weren't combined with the legacy of his time in the military. The two don't make for a very happy mix…
How To Make Them Functional: Colonel Fitts should reveal his secret and head to therapy. What he shouldn't do is make a move on his neighbour and then reach for his gun!
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Family: The Baker clan seem pretty hazy when it comes to social boundaries, particularly the elder members of the family. Witness the cringetastic moment when Sam's grandparents start discussing her boobs. "She's gotten her boobies," says Grandma, creepily, before going in to cop a feel! With this lot in tow, it's no wonder Sam's big sister gets trashed before heading down the aisle…
Most Dysfunctional Element: A handsy grandmother is one thing, but it's the granddad's contribution that really makes the skin crawl. "I'd better go get my magnifying glass," he chuckles, in reference to the aforementioned boobs. You dirty old man…
How To Make Them Functional: A simple explanation to pops about what happens to guys like him in prison should do the trick.