A famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.A famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.A famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.
The movie would have been so much more interesting with a defined structure. I loved Bergan's cynical and sassy character, and her trolling for rich men on the cruise could have been very funny with some well-written gags. Wiest's character is selfless and passionate, and we get a few small indications of how that impulse manifested itself in her youth, but how much more interesting would it have been had we seen perhaps how her giving nature affected her life (both the good and the bad). Streep plays a writer whose work delves deeply into others' lives, and at the same time, she is unable to connect with anyone. Is she just self-absorbed, or does she yearn for human interaction? I wish we could have seen more of that struggle within her.
And most of all, we never really find out exactly what Streep's character has written about Bergan's character that made Bergan's husband divorce her so many years ago. It's hinted at, and I think I sort of figured it out. But that information needed to be spelled out for the viewer.
There's also another character I would have loved to see more of. A highly successful mystery writer is also on the ship. Streep wants to pooh-pooh him as a hack, but he's actually thoughtful in terms of his work and his ability to "read" other people. There's a scene in which Streep is giving a talk on board, and the mystery writer asks a question about one of her books that makes it clear that he deeply respects her writing, and you can see Streep's heart melt with joy at being acknowledged. It is one of the only really moving moments of the film.
Oh yeah, there's a subplot with Streep's nephew and the employee from her publisher assigned to her. Completely useless.
What a disappointment! What a waste!
- May 11, 2021