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Dallas housewife Lurene Hallett's life revolves around the doings of Jacqueline Kennedy. She is devastated when President Kennedy is shot a few hours after she sees him arrive in Dallas. Despite her husband Ray's prohibition, she decides to attend the funeral in Washington, D.C. Forced to travel by bus, she befriends Jonell, the young black daughter of Paul Couter. Sensing something wrong, her good intentioned interference leads the mixed race threesome on an increasingly difficult journey to Washington with both the police and Ray looking for them. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1963 Dallas, a Jackie Kennedy-obsessed beautician hopes to travel by bus to JFK's funeral, but gets involved instead with a troubled black man and his estranged little girl. Handsome production, nice details, but a curiously minor film that never quite kicks into gear. Occasionally, the way the racial prejudices are shown--from both black and white characters--is heavy-handed, though director Jonathan Kaplan does subtle work as well, performing a nimble balancing act while the screenplay works overtime being "heated" and "emotional". Michelle Pfeiffer's performance is alternately grating, unconventional, sweet and perplexing; we don't get to know her Lurene too well, and the actress has to rely on shtick for some of her major scenes; Dennis Haysbert as her traveling companion is a tower of quiet strength, and his handsome, aw-shucks smile isn't over-used. The plot is wrapped up neatly at the end, a tricky feat since the finale takes place some 12 months from the rest of the story--a gimmick that doesn't always work, but here it satisfies the viewer by showing lives changed and what might lay ahead. Potentially a heady mix of race-relations and something even deeper (and no-less complicated): forbidden love. Yet the picture somehow whittles down these complex issues into a road-movie formula. ** from ****
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