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Cast shines in hysterical, underrated 'Family'

Matt Shiverdecker Special to the American-Statesman
"Sorry Angel," a French snapshot of cruising, courtship and casual sex set in 1993, is now streaming on Netflix. [CONTRIBUTED BY STRAND RELEASING]

Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.

Video on Demand

"Family": The art-house cinema world doesn't always know what to do with comedies, which sadly explains why this hysterical film that premiered at SXSW 2018 barely made a blip at the box office. It's unfortunate because Laura Steinel's directorial debut is a riotously funny look at what happens when a woman is forced to step away from her hectic life in order to connect with her awkward young niece. Kate (Taylor Schilling) has been so laser-focused on her career that she hasn't been very close with her family. In the wake of an emergency, her brother and sister-in-law ask her to watch to their teenage daughter Maddie (Bryn Vale), which Kate begrudgingly agrees to do for one night. That turns into a full week of getting to know each other. Before long, Kate becomes just as passionate about helping Maddie as she's ever been about being successful in her career, and she even ends up in full face paint on stage with the Insane Clown Posse at the Gathering of the Juggalos. Yes, you read that correctly, and it's quite amusing. Schilling’s “Orange Is the New Black” co-star Natasha Lyonne turns up as a full-blown Juggalo, "Saturday Night Live" star Kate McKinnon is predictably great as an uptight neighbor, and Matt Walsh from “Veep” has a few silly scenes as a mistreated co-worker. This is an unexpectedly charming story about the (family) ties that bind and letting go of expectations for yourself and others. (Cable and digital VOD)

Also on streaming services

"Sorry Angel": Backed by an amazing early-'90s soundtrack that includes Massive Attack, Cowboy Junkies, Ride and the Sundays, the latest drama from French auteur Christophe Honoré ("Love Songs") introduces us to Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), a bisexual novelist and single father living in Paris who has recently been diagnosed as HIV-positive. The time frame of the story delivers us a moment when advances in medicine meant that the disease was no longer an automatic death sentence but, in this instance, an ex-lover has already seen the quality of his life deteriorate quickly after falling ill. It's a scary window into the future, or so Jacques fears. And then he meets a college student who has recently come out of the closet named Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) while he's on a book tour event and all bets are instantly off. The two men are at very different parts of their lives but cannot stop the inevitable as they spend more time together and fall in love. Honoré's bittersweet romance is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking but ranks among his finest work. (Netflix)