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A young woman receives a letter that her deceased grandmother requests she hand-deliver to a man in her grandmother's childhood home in Maine. She begins a journey of discovery of her grandmother, herself, and quality of life.
Alison Dodge, a 17-year old raised by her mother, decides on her own to spend her last summer before college getting to know her father Al, who wasn't at all waiting for another eternally yapping, meddling, domestic girl in his quiet, supporting life in Arizona backwater Moonlight Bay, by a lake. After a rocky start, she stays and both are faced with each-other and themselves. Written by
This is one of those easy-going movies that one sits back and lets ooze into one's consciousness. The rest of this review assumes you've already read about the story and have a general idea of the plot.
I haven't read De Guzman's novel, so I don't know whether to credit him (in creating the teleplay) or director Pillsbury, but what I think is worth observing here is the unusual technique used to abbreviate plot elements which otherwise could be cliché.
To wit, several scenes are reduced to cinematic shorthand and are included, apparently, merely to propel the story and give brief cause for the scene which follows. This leaves the transitions a bit choppy, but what it achieves is that it reserves more space in the time allotted for lengthier interpersonal scenes which make the movie worthwhile for the viewer.
Matheson and Bell come off well as the estranged father and daughter, he for one of his more sensitive roles, and she as a rising star and the future Veronica Mars.
Further, I hadn't seen Sean Young on screen for many years; and, here, I liked what I saw. Maturity, methinks, becomes her.
The one question I have about the movie, which I missed due to a commercial or something, is what happened to the Asner character, Auggie Sinclair? Did he just split town with no explanation, or what?
Who are the king and queen of moonlight bay, you say? Watch it, if you get a chance, and find out.
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