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Family Portrait


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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2010, 30 min.

Synopsis Phil (Ty Burrell) is getting ready to go to a basketball game by stuffing snacks all over his person. (And I can't do his documentary interview any justice; watch it yourself.) Claire (Julie Bowen) reminds him to try on the white pants he has to wear for the family portrait she organized because everyone in the family will wear white. (You've done this, too, haven't you. We wore black for ours, and I'm eternally thankful to my sister for that.) Alex (Ariel Winter) has to go instead of Luke (Nolan Gould) because he has to work on a school project. They arrive at Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria's (Sofía Vergara). Manny (Rico Rodriguez) is going to the game with Jay. Phil tells him Luke's project is to interview someone who lived through the 1960's. Annnnndddd...Gloria is now going to the game instead. Right after she explains to Jay that their Portugese maid does not speak Spanish and don't lump the two languages together. (true) Jay is sorry, but he's tired of wearing crotch tourniquets, as the maid mixes up his underwear with Manny's. In a slightly-related story, Manny is doing great with the weight loss.While Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) readies himself to sing at a wedding (he works for flowers, but he would have used the paycheck for that anyway), Phil has a mind-boggling question for Kobe Bryant.PHIL: Do you like being a basketball player?Kobe advises some mental preparation next time. Claire stares at the famous broken step because the family portrait would be everybody wearing white in one line down that step. ("Like a ski jump?") Haley (Sarah Hyland) tries to calm her down about it, but Claire is too obsessed and tries to put the step back the way it was. Naturally, she breaks it. She calls Phil at the Lakers game. Haley can even see Phil and Gloria behind the Lakers' bench. And Phil commits the cardinal sin of a marriage: he screens the wife. (even I know not to do that)While Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) calls Cam in a panic about a pigeon flying into the house...and Cameron can't talk because the wedding has started...everybody at the game watches the Kiss Cam on the overhead video boards. Manny thinks it would be funny if the camera pointed at Alex and him (Alex, not so much), but the camera points two seats over to Phil and Gloria. Awkward. Phil tries to wave it off. ("My father's second wife. Legally OK, but still weird.") The cam goes away, and then comes back. Gloria doesn't think it's a big deal and plants one on Phil. (lucky bastard) She still doesn't think it's a big deal. Him, not so much. Of course this gets worse. At home, Claire is not happy about Phil screening her and is not shy about sharing this opinion with Haley. Haley texts Alex, who relays the message.ALEX: Dad, Mom saw you on TV. You're dead.Phil naturally thinks it's about the kiss and wonders why they showed the kiss cam to the TV audience.PHIL: What people do in the privacy of their own sports arena should be their own business!Luke is interviewing Jay, but apparently Jay wasn't exciting enough for Luke. Luke said his friend's father marched on Washington, but Jay knew he was full of crap. ("That guy couldn't march two steps without complaining.") Then he figured it out...and now Jay helped cut Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s hair. The Kennedys, Richard Nixon, all of the astronauts all spent time in the chair. ("How do you think Buzz Aldrin got his nickname?") And Wilt Chamberlain. And Elvis, who is the greatest singer of all time behind Sinatra. And he'll have to fight Phil on that, who thinks the greatest singer is Peabo Bryson. Naturally, Alex relays the message that grandpa wants to fight him.Mitchell is in full panic because he's trapped in Lily's room with the pigeon outside, and Lily needs her bottle. He mans up, as much as he can, anyway, and gets the milk. Only the pigeon blocks Lily's door. Mitchell goes Tony Montana on the pigeon, and some pillows, some firelogs, the large portrait of him and Cam, and a fire extinguisher. On the good side, Cameron can sing. Sadly, Mitchell can't use his house for the family portrait because there are now two living rooms destroyed by neuroses.The portrait is now at Jay and Gloria's. Jay is teasing Claire with a big glass of red wine, Luke is wrapped in plastic, and Cameron wants to know how Mitchell managed to destroy only the things Cam's mother gave them. Phil is nervous as hell, but Claire now has a second thing to be mad at him about. The white pants he never tried on made him look like the guy from Dance Fever ("Denny Terrio, Cleveland, Ohio"). Haley has a pimple coming in, and Gloria's dress...rawr! Claire is having a fit, but Phil thinks it's all about the kiss.They make it outside, around Jay's just-stained furniture, and the sprinklers turn on.JAY: Honey, how do you turn those off?GLORIA: (incensed) Why, just 'cause I'm a Latina, I know everything about gardening!JAY: No, you were here when they installed it.GLORIA: Oh, yeah.In true Murphy's Law fashion, they'd have to run through the sprinklers to turn them off. But Luke has the plastic covering on and Phil tells him to go "Hurt Locker" on them. The sprinklers are off, everybody gets organized, and Phil insists on telling Claire the truth right now. He admits Gloria kissed him.GLORIA: He made me. It's was Kiss Cam.JAY: Why did you kiss Cam?Jay insists on taking the damn picture...and now Cameron admits being ticked at Mitchell and his home improvement ideas. Claire loses it.CLAIRE: This took me forever to put it together, so I don't care who kissed who, and who's got a pimple on her forehead and who's got an outrageously-inappropriate dress on! WE are going to get together and act like a normal family for one-tenth of a second and we're going to do it right now.She shoves Mitchell back into the shot and he fights back. Now Jay loses it, chewing out Mitchell for not wanting to share in Cameron's day merely because he hates small-talk, and to Claire for trying to make every last thing perfect. ("We're all here in white. What are we, a cricket team?") Claire yells at him saying she has no other way to operate so he should give her some suggestions. He does...by throwing some mud on her white shirt. Phil defends her honor by getting mud on Jay, and...you know where this is going, don't you. The photographer has to wait to take the picture until Claire put some mud on Gloria.JAY: Back in '68 I was sweeping up hair in that barbershop. I had this mental picture of the family that, if I was lucky enough, I would end up with. Perfect wife, perfect kids. Guess what? I didn't get any of that. I wound up with this sorry bunch, and I'm thankful every day for it.But Luke would prefer to go with the Elvis story.

Directed by Jason Winer  

Starring Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, more...

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