Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011) Poster

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Jane Fonda Rehippified
RolyRoly14 September 2011
Six things about Peace, Love & Misunderstanding:

1. Yes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan really does look like Javier Bardem. So much so that I turned to my wife at one point and said: "I didn't realize that Bardem could speak English so flawlessly; too bad the strain of keeping that American accent has stunted his acting ability".

2. Great to see Rosanna Arquette, albeit in a bit part.

3. Woodstock looks like a really beautiful place.

4. The kids in this movie really can act, especially Elizabeth Olsen. Best Supporting Actress nominee: you heard it here first.

5. I grew up in the late 60's and early 70's and, despite some quibbles about the way in which the leftover hippies in this movie are portrayed, I was impressed by the ability of the young writers to steer away from some of the more obvious stereotypes (not completely, mind you - I don't think there is really a Kesey-esque psychedelic school bus anymore outside the props departments of the Hollywood studios). Perhaps they got the tone right because of the input from one of the era's cultural icons.

6. Thereby bringing us to Jane Fonda who, unfortunately, was ill and couldn't attend the world premiere last night in Toronto. She is just great in this film, in a role that could easily have fallen into parody (even self-parody). Sure, an ex-hippie in her 70's probably wouldn't be as heavily made up, but this is a Hollywood movie and she is a movie star. She is at once charming, spacey, provocative and slightly raunchy.

All in all, a really nicely written and lovingly directed and acted film. I hope it does well.
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heartwarming and nostalgic
susanmfinn10 June 2012
This movie is splendid! I had forgotten that Jane Fonda is an excellent actress. The scenery, with the landscape and vintage "props", is a wonderful reminder of the years that birthed care for the earth, inclusivity, and questioning the status quo. The story profiles the inevitable misunderstandings between generations, and the life lessons we can teach one another. Perhaps this is a movie enjoyed more by women, but many young men participated in the hippie culture, and many of today's women and men were conceived in fields of wildflowers. Although the film profiles a narrow 10-to-15-year span in our history, it provides an intimate glimpse into that era, to be enjoyed by multiple generations. I hope to see it again soon, because there was simply too much to "take in" in one viewing.
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'Life is a journey. Family is a trip.'
gradyharp20 June 2012
It is not often that a film appears that looks like it may just be background noise for a lazy evening and turns our to be a jewel of a movie. But that is what happens when discovering PEACE, LOVE AND MISUNDERSTANDING. Written by first timers Christina Mengert and Joseph Muszynski who also are the film's producers, and directed with splendid sensitivity for character and detail by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies, Bride of the Wind, Mao's Last Dance, etc), this is a story that so easily could have dropped of the edge of the cliff as a flop but instead becomes a transporting study of family, of coming of age, of second chances, and of fining self in this often absurd world in which we live. The cast, down to the most minuscule bit player, is outstanding: this film is likely to be a career boost for all involved.

Uptight obsessive compulsive lawyer Diane (Catherine Keener) lives in New York and at film's opening is told by her husband Mark that he wants a divorce. Diane decides to escape the disorganized trauma of that announcement by taking her two teenagers - geeky video camera addict and virginal Jake (Nat Wolff) and vegan daughter Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) - to visit Diane's hippy mother Grace (Jane Fonda, in a brilliant performance) whom she hasn't seen for 20 years (Grace sold Marijuana to Diane's friends at Diane's wedding and has never been forgiven): Grace lives in Woodstock, a town that has retained its hippie flavor since the 1960s. Thinking they will only stay for a couple of days the visiting fractured family ends up staying on while Diane slowly appreciates the strange and wacky but intensely felt life her mother has embraced. Diane meets Jude (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who slowly breaks down Diane's carefully controlled existence, Zoe is attracted to the local butcher Cole (Chace Crawford, definitely a talent to watch) and despite her loathing of slaughtering animals for food she gradually discovers similarities in the tow of them, and Jake falls for Tara (Marissa O'Donnell) - his first physical experience. Stir all those ingredients, add some hilarious evening of women howling at the full moon, some surprises in character development, and town full of retro-flowerchild status and the film just soars.

One of the many reasons this film works so well is the outstanding performance by the always beautiful and gifted Jane Fonda, but Keener, Morgan, Olsen, Crawford and Wolff are also in top form. For an American comedy that leaves the viewer feeling on top of the world, this movie has it all.

Grady Harp
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julpll20 November 2011
Funny comment in the last user review. The bus in the movie was not a prop. It just happened to be there on the property where they were filming already. If you go to Woodstock, indeed in many towns in the Hudson Valley, you will still see quite a few psychedelic painted vehicles. Many of the extras used in the film live in the area. They all just dressed and acted normally. Woodstock is Woodstock! The writing and acting may have seemed exaggerated, but if anything, it was downplayed. Check out the motorcycle gang - they are really members of the local motorcycle club. I viewed the movie at the Woodstock film festival and it was fun to watch everyone that was in the film enjoy seeing themselves on the big screen.
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Loved this wonderful comedy!
essex77729 June 2012
Yes, comedy! It's a refreshing look at the culture of the 60's and the cynicism of those who look back and try to make sense of all the facets of American society that were called into question during the period. The facets still exist! Out of it comes a funny portrayal of what the confusion/clarity looked like (looks like) as people worked it out, tried to love one another, and made mistakes, as only humans can...with great intentions all firing at once. Congratulations to the director, the cast, the writers, for this delightful romp. I laughed, learned humility, and relished the human comedy that we are, now, as we try to still (once again) Love over generational lines - adult to child, etc. God Bless you for the effort - I hope those who can relax, let go, without a toke, or with, can enjoy your message for what it is - human - very funny, sometimes just plain dumb. Please do not over intellectualize it, just enjoy the darn thing! This movie actually had a kind of "Doris Day" feel to it. Delightful and simple on the surface, but underneath, lots of some good messages about healing one another. I've read what some critics have said, and I wanna say, go to church, get over yourself, calm down, just enjoy the silliness of life, be reverent - be still. Kids do it and so should we, then we will hear each other!!!!
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Really good movie
jeyvars27 June 2015
This is a charming movie and could have been much better. Jane Fonda, of course, made it fabulous, both from an acting standpoint and just her very presence. She is amazing. Jeffery Dean Morgan stole every scene he was in, a really intelligent, kind actor. Catherine Keener is so perfectly cast, understated and vulnerable. Their relationship should have gotten more screen time and have been much more developed.

Marissa O'Donnell and Nat Wolff are both adorable here and their relationship together is very believable.

I did not like the role of Elizabeth Olsen. She is an interesting actress, but her dialogue and life experience seemed too mature for her and her relationship with the butcher felt beyond them. Their scenes together did not work and I found myself fast-forwarding through them the second time I watched it.
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Great Movie
Lori Denise20 June 2012
This is a really great movie.

I cannot understand why anyone would say otherwise because there is not a dull moment in this movie as it has a bit of everything, from laughing to crying because the actors are able to have you feel what they are portraying.

It is a movie about accepting others for who they are and most importantly it is about forgiveness and learning to enjoy life.

I must add what wonderful acting there is from all of the entire crew. Anytime a movie can pull you in to the point of being able to feel their emotions then you know that they have done a great job.

Jane Fonda is just terrific. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was as amazing as he always is. I have to add how cute Chance Crawford is.

It is a great reminder that sometimes we all need to slow down and take a look around us and just enjoy the moment we are in.
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Excellent Movie
am_creative24 June 2012
Kudos to Bruce Beresford for making a really great film with heart and soul. All the cast are amazing - especially Jane Fonda as the grandmother, she really pops in this one. Chase Crawford is hot and homegrown, as is the Javier Bardem - look a like - Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We'd like to see more of him. Catherine Keener is believable as the uptight attorney. I felt a little cheated that Patricia Arquette was not in more scenes, one can only surmise she hit the cutting room floor. Loved seeing the Woodstock locals and the location used as characters. I was in the story for the complete ride. Timeless story. A must see. Why is it only in one theater here in New York?
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Loved it - Chick Flick
tammyanddiamond23 June 2012
I have watched it twice in the last 24 hours with sister. We both loved it and feel it is the next Steel Magnolias. Hubby even tolerated it and we heard him chuckle a few times. I should have been at Woodstock instead of Joplin MO and born way too late! Jane Fonda's role was the mother i wished I had. A pot-dealing hippie type that was so believable. Her uptight daughter, NYC attorney played by Catherine Keener was great as well. The children's roles were sweet and had just enough sibling rivalry that it was real if not a bit too sweet. The guys in the film were all hot and made you want to take them home for yourself, even though both are too young for me! giggle giggle!
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A Lesson in Tolerance
JLRMovieReviews19 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As they say in the film "Clueless," a lesson in tolerance is always good, even when it comes out of nowhere. If for no other reason, that's why I like this movie, which stars Jane Fonda as a hippie mother, who acts like she's still in the 1960s and 1970s, and Catherine Keener as her conservative daughter, who comes home with her daughter, as she and her husband are in the midst of a divorce. In trying to relate with each other and trying to find out why they drifted apart, Jane and Catherine learn things about themselves and in the process become better people...hopefully. Sounds like a hallmark movie, right? Well, this does have kind of an attitude and a sense of humor about it, with a hippie guy that Jane used to sleep with and who befriends Catherine. With the granddaughter finding a hot guy to keep her attentions, there's love and romance in the air for all. Despite the fact this film has earned somewhat of a lame reputation, I thoroughly appreciated its laid-back approach to being yourself and learning to accept the eccentricities of others. No one's perfect. The movie's charm and good performances manage to overcome any clichés it may have and you leave the film upbeat with a positive outlook on life and seeing the best of those around you. At least I did. I hope you will too.
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