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'Introducing the Dwights'

In this lightweight coming-of-age dramedy from Down Under, a bright, handsome, responsible 20-year-old still lives with a Mommie Dearest whose reluctance to let him go is ruining his chances of losing his virginity.

Actually, the rest of the family — a ditzy divorced dad who fancies himself a country-music star and a sweet brain-damaged brother — aren't helping much either. But his standup-comic mom (Brenda Blethyn, in caustic overdrive as a third-rate never-was) is the real problem: She's a harridan and a half, throwing fits, throwing pots and generally throwing her motherly weight around in ways that would strike Medea as understated.

Fortunately, comic impulses overcome dramatic ones eventually, and happy endings prevail.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.