November 06, 2006 12:00 PM

Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Cross, Alec Baldwin, Jill Clayburgh

COMEDY

This is pretty much the movie one would expect from first-time director Ryan Murphy, creator of the addictively lurid Nip/Tuck—only with less nudity and surgery. Like the TV show, this tale of a teenage boy (Cross) coping with not one but two highly dysfunctional families features strong performances, batty behavior and moments of pure bliss. Based on Augusten Burroughs’s coming-of-age memoir, Running with Scissors is never as affecting as it might be, but it features outstanding turns by Bening as the youth’s wacko mother, Baldwin as his alcoholic dad and Clayburgh as a sympathetic maternal stand-in. (R)

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