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All You Need (2001)

 |  Drama  |  4 March 2001 (USA)
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Beth's life was going backwards. Her husband suddenly walks out on her, she has an alcoholic mother, an ambivalent father and so she decides to begin making a change by going back to school in order to take charge of her life.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kayren Butler ...
Faran Sabistan Crenshaw (as Kayren Ann Butler)
Amy Raymond ...
Missy Sabistan Rampley
Beth Sabistan Starnes
Jane Sabistan
Earl Sabistan
Gloria LeRoy ...
Nana Sabistan (as Gloria Le Roy)
Chuck Starnes
Roger Crenshaw
Jeff Werner ...
Todd Rampley (as Jeff Robert Werner)
Dylan Rampley (as Dylan Joseph Cash)
Courtney Rampley
Courtney Rampley
Robbie Crenshaw
Caleb Wesdell ...
Taylor Crenshaw


Beth's life was going backwards. Her husband suddenly walks out on her, she has an alcoholic mother, an ambivalent father and so she decides to begin making a change by going back to school in order to take charge of her life.

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Release Date:

4 March 2001 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Unpleasant, but that's life; at least some of it is funny
20 August 2009 | by See all my reviews

The movie begins with someone fixing Thanksgiving dinner--we don't see a face. The food looks good, and the music is supposedly nice, but not to me. It's a mix on New Age and Contemporary Christian with no lyrics other than "la la la".

After the credits, the scene is positively Norman Rockwell. That doesn't last, as the family argues over whether and how to say grace. Jane, the mother, is Catholic but hasn't been to Mass in years. Missy is raising her kids (including Courtney, who is adorable as she says the "God is great" blessing) in the Church of God. Her husband Todd isn't anything. Roger, Faran's husband, was raised Methodist but is a nonbeliever. He and Missy get into a heated discussion.

Beth's sisters both have kids but she and Chuck do not. They're trying. Or were. After eight years, Chuck wants out.

At 28, Beth must start over. Roger is her divorce lawyer.

First, she must start dating again. Hank and David are two of the losers. We don't know the names of the others, but their outrageous behavior would be considered funny in a real comedy.

Then Beth needs a better job. She is a respiratory therapist but wants a master's degree to become a nurse practitioner. For that she needs organic chemistry. Her professor is Andy, who looks like Hugh Grant and is almost as funny. Will he become more?

Christmas is almost as bad as Thanksgiving, though Courtney looks cute in her dress. I hope she wasn't listening when Beth walked in, because someone described her as being home on shore leave. That wasn't the first time I realized the movie had been edited: no script writers actually use the words "Gosh darn", do they? And in a number of scenes, several of the characters' mouths weren't moving exactly according to what I was hearing.

Jane has a drinking problem which gets worse throughout the movie. Earl is retired from the business he ran and having him home gets on Jane's nerves. Also, both of Beth's sisters have marital problems before the movie ends.

Kellie Martin in no way reminded me of Corky's quirky sister. She was so unpleasant I was worried she'd be the focus of the movie and I'd have to put up with her for two hours. As I mentioned, there are other characters with other problems, but Beth is the main character. At least after the first hour she becomes easier to take.

I really like Matt Champagne as the professor. He and GloriaLeRoy as the sweet but very forgetful Nana provide much-needed comedy relief. About halfway through, the movie almost turns into a comedy but never quite gets there. Some scenes are supposed to be funny, I guess, but this is really a dark comedy if it is a comedy at all.

Janet Carroll does a good job showing Jane's drinking as it gets worse and makes everyone's lives miserable.

I know most of the people watching this movie will be young women, and most of the music--hot adult contemporary and Triple-A on the radio--is what they like. But I didn't like it. There were three songs I liked, in addition to the traditional Christmas music, which was nice. One song is used in a fantasy Thanksgiving scene where all the women had beehive hairdos. The other two, unfortunately, are used where Jane is spinning out of control. Both are inappropriate unless you are supposed to be laughing, and I wasn't.

It was actually a good movie. Better when it was actually funny.

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