Teenagers Rose and Bennett were in love, and then a car crash claimed Bennett's life. He left behind a grieving mother, father and younger brother, and Rose was left all alone. She has no family to turn to for support, so when she finds out she's pregnant, she winds up at the Brewer's door. She needs their help, and although they can't quite admit it, they each need her so they can begin to heal.Written by
Susan Sarandon was initially reluctant to tackle the role of the grieving mother in the film, as she's played similar parts in recent years, most notably in Moonlight Mile (2002) and In the Valley of Elah (2007). She was impressed with Writer and Director Shana Feste's eccentric script, and the fact that the film would shoot close to her New York City area house on a quick twenty-eight-day schedule was also appealing. Still, it took a phone call from Pierce Brosnan (who had just signed on to co-star) to finally convince her to commit to the film. See more »
In the scene where Allen is in hospital on the day of his release, the white sheet on the bed slips down and then is magically back up again. This happens several times. See more »
All right, I have a secret to tell you.
You're in the middle of the road.
I know. Do you wanna hear it?
Do you want to move your car first?
No, not really. I just wanna tell you one more thing.
[takes a Polaroid picture of him]
What? That's not gonna be good.
Okay, tell me.
[...] See more »
"The Greatest" feels like a Hallmark Channel movie with top A-list actors. Depending on what you think of the Hallmark Channel, this is either a compliment or an insult. As my title implies, sentimentality drives this story, not suspense or plot twists. Everything is (deliberately) predictable, meaning the actors' performances are the real attraction.
The story is about a dysfunctional family dealing with mourning and the extreme ways each person handles it, mostly in unflattering ways as if to show us how NOT to handle tragedy. The plot focuses on how they slowly attempt to reconcile their differences. The father (Pierce Brosnan) plays the stereotypical head of the household who refuses to break. The mother (Susan Sarandon) plays the self-absorbed victim who feels like she's the only one who's in pain. The son/brother (Johnny Simmons) totally disconnects as if he doesn't care. And a mysterious stranger who was the secret girlfriend (Carey Mulligan) represents the objective voice of reason with her wise, tolerant perspective, never really revealing her own struggle but instead seeking to draw the others out of their respective prisons.
If that description bores you, then you'll probably be bored by the movie. But if the core premise interests you, then give it a shot.
Although I said there are no plot twists, there are a few interesting complications (revealed right in the beginning) which spice up the story. Themes of infidelity, drug addiction, convicted criminals and unplanned pregnancy add some interesting flavor. But those remain off to the side so not to upstage the main story.
The climax and resolution comes down to a painful cliché which made me hate the movie at first, but now 24 hours later I think sometimes a cliché is the best way to make a point. I'm just mentioning that in case you have a similar reaction: give it some thought.
If you are looking for other quiet movies that focus on themes of loss and grieving, I recommend "Morning" (2010) - five chapters, or days, in the life of a couple suffering a tragedy; and on the lighter side I highly recommend "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School" (2005) - the only movie that has multiple tragic deaths but manages to get your toes tapping to the Lindy Hop.
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