Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
Plot: Attorney Matt King is having a difficult time coping with his life at the moment. His wife Elizabeth is in a coma in the hospital following a boating accident. His youngest daughter Scottie is acting out and in many ways Matt is forced to be a parent for the first time in a long time. Matt is also in control of a family trust, one that is set to expire in a few years time. The trust owns a huge tract of land - vigorously sought by developers - the sale of which would be of great help financially to many of his cousins. He learns that Elizabeth was having an affair and was going to divorce him.
When Matt King describes his inherited wealth, he says, "I don't want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father; you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing." This is based on a well-known quote from billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a 1986 Fortune magazine interview.
George Clooney was attracted to the part because he so often has played characters that have their act together. The character of Matt clearly does not.
One closeup briefly shows Elizabeth's Punahou School diploma. Punahou School, in Honolulu, is the largest private school in the United States. It was built in 1841 and added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1972. Barack Obama graduated from Punahou School in 1979.
In one scene, Elizabeth's mother is called "tutu", Hawaiian slang for grandparent.
Amanda Seyfried auditioned for the part of the older daughter.
King Kamehameha I became the first sovereign of the unified Hawaiian Islands in 1810. His last legitimate heir was Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who died in 1884. Margaret Ke'Alohilani and Edward King, the ancestors of the film's King family, are fictional.
Miles Teller auditioned and was one of the finalists to play Sid, but in the end lost the role to Nick Krause.
The phone number shown on George Clooney's character's Blackberry for Gold Coast Real Estate - (808) 926-7525 - really is the phone number for Honolulu's Gold Coast Real Estate, Inc.
The Hawaiian quilt on Elizabeth's bed once she is moved to room 315 is the same quilt at the end of the movie when Matt, Scottie and Alex sit together on the couch to watch TV.
In September, 1992, Hurricane Iniki blew apart many chicken coops on Kauai that housed birds that were allegedly used for cockfighting. By the time the film went into production, there were thousands of feral chickens roaming the island. In the Kauai scenes, chickens are sometimes seen wandering through the shot. A few were wandering around the parking lot in the exterior shot of the Tahiti Nui restaurant. Sometimes the crew had to shoo chickens away before a take. Some takes were disrupted by crowing roosters.
THe author of the novel Kaui Hart Hemmings on which the movie is based has a cameo in the film. She plays Matt's assistant, Noe, who announces "Your cousins are here" when Matt is prepares to meet with his relatives at his law office.