L.A. soft-porn writer Carter Webb is frustrated enough, after his actress girlfriend dumps him, to need a serious break. He decides to spend it with his grandmother, who can't really take ... See full summary »
After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
A series of overlapping stories about four suburban families dealing with different maladies. Esther Gold's life is consumed by caring for her comatose son; Jim Train is sent into a ... See full summary »
Mary Kay Place
A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but can only get financing if he casts a well-known action star. ... See full summary »
A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.
L.A. soft-porn writer Carter Webb is frustrated enough, after his actress girlfriend dumps him, to need a serious break. He decides to spend it with his grandmother, who can't really take care of herself and her Detroit suburb house anyway. Helpful Carter soon overcomes mishaps to bond with the foxy neighbor across the street and her daughters. Helping them actually helps him regain perspective and self-confidence. Written by
The Kasdan Family has made a significant mark on the better films of Hollywood and Jon Kasdan (writer/director of IN THE LAND OF WOMEN) holds those values of fine cinema intact. Having appeared as an actor in some films of his father Lawrence Kasdan (Grand Canyon, The Big Chill, Body Heat, Mumford, Dreamcatcher, The Bodyguard, etc), he has not only inherited his father's credo of making meaningful statements about life as we are currently living it, he has absorbed the fluid character development of those films and added his own sensitive touch with graceful dialog. He is a talent to watch.
Soft porn writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody in a very fine performance) lives in Los Angeles near his depressed mother (JoBeth Williams) and has just been dumped by his actress girlfriend Sofia Buñuel (Elena Anaya). When his mother learns of her mother's failing state, the distraught Carter offers to travel to suburban Michigan to stay with his grandma Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis). Once in picturesque Michigan Carter deals with his lovable but eccentric grandma and meets the across the street neighbors - mother Sarah (Meg Ryan in fine form), daughters Lucy (Kristin Stewart) and the younger Paige (Makenzie Vega), and errant husband Nelson (Clark Gregg). In this setting of a 'woman world' Carter is key to aiding the various maladies of each of the women while addressing his own disappointing failed relationship. The manner in which he intervenes by simply being present and tender and caring makes a positive impact on not only those around him but also on his own life and talent as a meaningful writer.
In what could have been a soupy chick flick Jon Kasdan has instead provided a script that has a healthy dose of homespun philosophy and has guided his multi-talented cast to offer some of their finest moments on film. This is an entertaining movie, but it is also a balm for viewers who have experienced life-threatening illness, broken homes, coping with the elderly, and ultimately coping with death. It simply works. Grady Harp
21 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?