The Price of Family Ending Explained – who really inherited Aunt Thea’s money?

By Lori Meek
Published: January 26, 2023

We discuss the ending of the Netflix film The Price of Family, which will contain spoilers.

The Price of Family starts with the two parents, Carlo and Anna, saying goodbye to both their adult children as they move to the city of Rome, leaving their family home behind. Their daughter, Alessandra is moving in with her dentist boyfriend, Rocco (Francesco Marioni), while the son, Emilio, is off to work in a low-paying office job for a boss he despises. Much to Anna’s despair, after moving out, both siblings are spending less and less time with their aging parents. They don’t show up for an aunt’s funeral, make promises to visit but never keep them and even ignore their parent’s phone calls simply because they don’t feel like talking to them. The final straw is when both children decide not to spend Christmas at home. 

Having had enough of being ignored by their progeny, Anna and Carlo claim to have been left a sizable inheritance by the dearly departed Aunt Thea. Strangely enough, the plan works. And as soon as Alessandra and Emilio learn about their parent’s pretend windfall, they both suddenly remember how much they love mom and dad. Of course, now mom and dad have to act (and spend) as though they truly are part of the elite. The plan is to keep the charade going until Christmas, but will Anna and Carlo’s bank accounts survive until then? After all, renting a Ferrari, buying fake designer clothes, and writing checks left right and center can quickly turn into an expensive hobby. 

The Price of Family ending explained

On the verge of bankruptcy

As the film progresses, pretending to be wealthy starts putting both Anna and Carlo in an increasingly precarious financial position. They start writing their kids checks they can’t afford, they make financial promises they can’t keep and even cash out their life insurance and entire bank account. Complicating things further, the deceased aunt’s son catches wind of the “inheritance” and confronts Anna and Carlo at a big family gathering, causing a rift between all relatives. By the time both parents decide to admit they’ve been lying about their financial prowess, they’ve already emptied their bank account and prepared two €50,000 checks for Alessandra and Emilio as a peace offering. 

The consequences of Anna and Carlo’s prank

While the pretend inheritance is played out as a harmless joke, it does have real consequences for both children. Alessandra ends up breaking up with her much-older boyfriend, who’s appalled at how money-hungry she acts. Emilio loses two teeth in a freak golfing accident, but also his job when he’s unable to pay his boss the investment money required to become a partner at his firm. 

Unable to face the truth, the parents take their lie too far and claim Carlo is terminally ill, thus explaining why they can’t put a couple of million euros in each child’s bank account. In an attempt at making the lie more believable, both parents pretend to have gone to Paris for medical testing. However, the kids eventually learn the truth after catching both parents taking a video call at home in front of a picture of the Eiffel Tower. 

After learning the truth about their parents, both Alessandra and Emilio meet up with their cynical grandmother asking for advice. While the older woman agrees Carlo and Anna’s actions were despicable, she also blames the young people for having been so dismissive of their parents. The grandmother also reveals that she’s the real beneficiary of Aunt Thea’s inheritance. 

Back at the house, Anna is spending Christmas Eve defeated and taking down decorations. Before she can finish the chore, both adult children make a surprise visit (such was the surprise that Carlo accidentally breaks Emilio’s teeth. Again.) The film ends with all members of this dysfunctional yet loving family searching for Emilio’s missing teeth. It remains unclear if grandma has any intention of sharing her inheritance with the rest of the family.

What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film The Price of Family? Comment below.

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