Adopting Audrey, Jena Malone in a free-spirited indie

Jillian Lindig and Jena Malone in Adopting Audrey

Adopting Audrey takes us through a few weeks in the life of Audrey as she attempts to be adopted as an adult by a family as dysfunctional as her own. She watches YouTube videos at night, especially about cute animals, and she noticed one video about adult adoptions.

Jena Malone is Audrey in Adopting Audrey. She changes jobs often and moves around a lot. When the story begins she’s working the phone in a debt collection agency and has an apartment. By the end of this brief look into her life, she’s living in her mini van and working in a hardware store.

In between those start and stop moments in her story, we see her meet some odd people who express an interest in adopting her.

Audrey has parents. They are terrible parents, but she has them. She seems happy and well-adjusted, considering her lonely and nomadic lifestyle. She’s savvy about human beings and can do all sorts of jobs.

Robert Hunger-Bühler and Jena Malone in Adopting Audrey
Audrey and Otto share a meal cooked outside on a camp stove.

Audrey meets a family headed by Otto (Robert Hunger-Bühler). Otto is overbearing, pedantic, German to the core, and not sure how to be a father or a husband.

Robert Hunger-Bühler, Emily Kuroda, Jillian Lindig, and Jena Malone in Adopting Audrey
There might be a problem with the chicken.

Otto’s second wife, Sunny (Emily Kuroda), is the one who brought Audrey into the picture. She knows they need something. Otto has two children and two grandchildren who can’t stand to be around him. Maybe a new daughter would fix him???

Also living in the home is Otto’s Mutti (Jillian Windig) who doesn’t much care about Audrey, until she discovers that Audrey knows how to connect a pilfered cable feed to her TV set.

Although Otto’s family is definitely odd, Audrey’s emotional intelligence is so high that she understands them, even likes them. Jena Malone manages to make Audrey charming and likeable. She’s a very different kind of protagonist from anything you’ve seen before.

Not much happens. Audrey does some odd jobs, gets thrown out of her apartment for overdue rent, rebuilds a treehouse in Otto’s backyard, and decides to leave town.

Instead she stays and gets a job in the hardware store. Otto finds her there. The movie ends with them in mid-conversation.

This small indie with the abrupt beginning and the abrupt ending was written and directed by M. Cahill. Jena Malone and her friend Mary Stuart Masterson were among the producers.

Adopting Audrey is available for an extra rental fee on Prime Video. I watched it free by borrowing it from my local library using the Hoopla app. In case you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s on YouTube, where you can also find ads for adult adoptions.

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