Three women take a road trip to Santa Barbara in order to deliver the ashes of one of their dead husbands to his resentful daughter.Three women take a road trip to Santa Barbara in order to deliver the ashes of one of their dead husbands to his resentful daughter.Three women take a road trip to Santa Barbara in order to deliver the ashes of one of their dead husbands to his resentful daughter.
Arvilla (Jessica Lange) has lost her husband of 20 years and promised to scatter his ashes over places the couple loved. Her step daughter Francine (Christine Baranski) demands the 'ashes' be buried next to her mother's grave in Santa Barbara, threatening her stepmother with eviction from her Pocatello, Idaho home if Arvilla doesn't comply. Two of Arvilla's friends - the restless widow Margene (Kathy Bates) and the oh-so-Mormon Carol (Joan Allen) support their friend and plan to fly with Arvilla to take the ashes to Santa Barbara. But circumstances begin to change when the threesome bond tightly and decide to take Arvilla's husband's old Bonneville on a road trip to California. From here on the film is a Road Trip - a time when the three women learn lessons about life and death and love and compassion from each other - and from a young hitchhiker Bo (Victor Rasuk of 'Saving Victor Vargas', 'Stop- Loss' etc) and trucker Emmett (Tom Skirrett). The trip from Idaho to California passes through some of the Southwest's most beautiful scenery, places once shared by Arvilla and her late husband, and slowly the urn of ashes is distributed along the way to the dreaded Santa Barbara funeral.
Christopher N. Rowley directs this sweet story by Daniel D. Davis with great respect for the gifts of the three fine actors, allowing them to show us just why they remain some of our finest talent on the screen. It is not a great film, but it has such a fine heart that we can relax and just ride along with it. Grady Harp
- Jul 3, 2008