"August: Osage County" may be a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play but this movie version is so ridiculously melodramatic, it's hard to imagine anyone taking the material seriously, in whatever version. It feels like a year's worth of soap opera shenanigans crammed into a two-hour movie.
That being said, it is entertaining as hell, as long as you have a taste for actors and actresses chewing the scenery and spitting it out in big soggy chunks.
You may question the wisdom of the actors' decision to do this film, but to all the actors' credit, they're definitely "all in." No one holds back a thing - the crazier the role, the crazier the performance. A movie with a screaming cat-fight between Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts rolling around on the dining room floor punching each other has absolutely no sense of decorum. And that's part of this movie's occasional pleasures - if you can call them that.
Meryl Streep plays a snarling pill-addicted Oklahoma matriarch whose three grown daughters return home to try to comfort her after a family tragedy. With various husbands and boyfriends in tow, the three daughters suffer the slings and arrows of their mother's nastiness until the daughters start slinging the arrows right back at her.
This film is not only a bitch fest. It's also a string of exposes. Every character is sitting on at least one secret and each of those secrets, one by one, gets a public airing in the most embarrassing of ways. And the final one is such a whopper, you either groan in disbelief or gasp in delight.
I did a little of both.
My piece of advice: the less seriously you take this movie, the more fun you will have.