Other People shows the viewer the ending at its beginning. This semi-autobiographical debut for writer/director Chris Kelly of a family and their cancer-afflicted mother isn't going to be about triumphing over adversity; it's going to feature the mother's slow decline and ultimate death, surrounded by her husband and three adult children. Thwarting this depressing intro is the kind of detail so absurd that it must be true. While the surviving family sobs over their minutes-dead matriarch, an old friend of the mom leaves a message on the nearby answering machine, obliviously checking in while she places a drive-thru food order. Other People repeatedly finds the humor in the darkest of scenarios, while still managing to be genuine and raw about what the characters are experiencing. What must have been a purgative experience for Kelly, whose own mother died from cancer in 2009, is also a complete experience for the viewer, as the film achieves an honest balance between comedy and drama.
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