Tis the season for holiday celebrations, and the time of year we are often bombarded with movies of blissful family gatherings. Expect Delays is a breath of fresh air for those of us more in touch with the realities of the holiday season. One of the true joys of this film is the relatablility of these characters and their family dynamics. Expect Delays, written and directed by Dan Steadman, offers a deeper look into how ego and self-absorption mixed in with a little blame game can impact how family members behave around each other, further feeding their believes something is terribly wrong with everyone sitting at Christmas dinner with them. Rather than watching a movie, you begin to feel you are a part of this family and seated right at the table. You feel the stress, the discomfort, as well as the joy, laughter, and compassion the family shares.
Expect Delays, featuring Ted Trent (Neila), Wendy Shapiro, Andra Harkins, C. Stephen Foster, and Cooper Shaw, follows a Midwestern small-town family coming together for a traditional Christmas celebration. The family matriarch, Barb (Andra Harkins), busies herself with all the preparations with the simple purpose of having a warm, peaceful, happy holiday with those she loves the most. Her grown children have a different perspective however. Condesending Alec (Ted Trent), frustrated with his family, is mostly checked out until a few unexpected situations arise. Meanwhile his sister Leigh Ann struggles the most emotionally with her past and the challenging relationship she has with her mother. Not only were the performances strong, but the entire cast added a richness to the story and warmth to this family that even in the roughest patches throughout their day, we see some true holiday spirit.
Expect Delays will warm your heart as you are truly along for the ride on all their journeys to come full circle. Don’t be surprised if you literally feel you are right at the dinner table with them, and sitting on the couch in the living room opening gifts, because Barb wouldn’t have it any other way.