Take The Daytrippers and mix it with Gurinder Chadha’s What’s Cooking, and you get Pieces Of April. The Daytrippers is the family journey part, as the go from suburbia to New York to see wayward daughter April. What’s Cooking is the trials and tribulations of cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. To its extreme credit, Pieces Of April manages to come in shorter than both films and say pretty much all those films said too.
a) Families, especially when stuck in cars together, are nasty pieces of work.
b) Cooking for your family is about the most stressful thing you can do.

c) If it turns out okay it is all worth it in the end.

I must admit, c) is not a cast iron law.

Anyway as a comedy Pieces Of April has plenty of decent laughs, not least in the disastrous cooking pratfalls in the first half of the film. (Turkeys are big and slippy bastards). The cancerous Joy, the mother coming to visit, is just a nasty piece of work – at turns bitter, deranged and spiteful to all around her. There are a few mis-steps, despite suggesting it, the too good to be true boyfriend was never going to turn out to be anything but sweet. The film was also probably correct in taking th easy option in montaging the end, the happy snaps probably sum up better than any amount of sickly dialogue how occasionally families can set asides problems. You know though that any written sequence would have lasted about a minute before spiralling off into arguments, and that does not make for a decent ending. So despite playing it safe, Pieces Of April is a pretty sweet movie.