8 September 2003
1969 in suburban small town Canada. Ex-military man Jim Field, married with three high school aged daughters, wants to portray having the perfect, loving family to the outside world, which is anything but reality largely based on his behavior and thus relationships with the other family members. While trying to be what he considers the model father, he cheats on his wife and is a bit of a blowhard. A prime example of his behavior was several years earlier canceling a family vacation to Disneyland impromptu in favor of a two week nuclear attack simulation, taking the family to live during that time in the locked bomb shelter in their backyard. His wife Mary, a former dancer, suffers from chronic clinical depression, exacerbated by family events including her relationship with Jim. Regardless, Jim truly has a protective attitude toward her. She spends most of her time in a semi-comatose state in front of the television while the girls help her self-medicate with alcohol. Each of the girls tries to deal with their family dysfunction in different ways. Norma, the Plain Jane self-conscious one who truly wants a loving relationship with her parents the most of the three, tries to hold the family together in maintaining the house while secretly harboring family memories which no one else in the family will talk about. Lou has always been the rebellious one, she most openly showing her anger toward her father, who she considers a tyrant. In her own world, Sandy models herself after the typical 1950s housewife. The girls' perspectives are affected by their encounters with one person apiece who enters their respective lives. Norma is befriended by perky Stella, a new girl in her class and neighborhood who seemingly could have any friend she wanted. Despite telling others she thinks he's weird, Lou, in her rebellion, pursues Tom, a new classmate, an anti-America ex-American hippie. And Sandy's first customer at the seamstress shop where she has just started working is thirty-eight year old married shoe store owner Reg Shelman, who makes no bones about his sexual interest in her. In addition to these encounters, the family members are forced to face their family dysfunction head-on following a tragic event in the early hours of New Years Day 1970.
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