“The Playroom” is confirmation that the ‘70s were an awful decade for the latchkey kids of American parents living out a fantasy existence of liberation. The proverbial house of cards comes crashing down for a suburban family overseen by Martin (John Hawkes), an easily cuckolded father and his wayward wife Donna (fearlessly played by Molly Parker). 15-year-old Maggie (Olivia Harris) has been stealing her mother’s birth control pills to embark on her own sexual adventures. Maggie has also taken on the role of surrogate parent to her three younger siblings, who complete the daily chores of emptying out their parents’ overflowing ashtrays. A chamber piece cousin to “The Ice Storm,” “The Playroom” hones in on the mentality of so many irresponsible ‘70s era parents whose children grew up to be much better people than their parents. Here’s proof that there’s something to be said for rebelling against the sins of the fathers — and mothers.
Not Rated. 83 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)