Dear Eleanor (2016) Poster

(2016)

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8/10
Like a Hallmark story - only better
cekadah3 August 2016
A very nice and simple 'road movie' of two early teen girls driving from California to New York state to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. One girl is making the trip to appease her guilt feelings and the other is a best friend going along in support of the others mission.

Along the road a spectrum of odd characters are met and two have reason to join the girls in their cross country adventure. I do not want to give any details about the story as it is the story that gives this film it's charm. Anyone who enjoys road movies and wants a clear simple and nice story then this flick is the right choice. It's not great acting nor is the script first class writing but as a whole it works well and is entertaining!

Does it have a happy ending - no - and - yes! Watch this film to find out why.
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Modest "Road" Picture is Fun & Light-Hearted
lavatch16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The strength of "Dear Eleanor" was in the scripting that included clever dialogue and situations filled with nostalgia of the early 1960s. From start to finish, the scenes were lively as two teenagers take to the road for a cross-country trip from California to New York to visit Eleanor Roosevelt in 1962.

The film starts in the breadbasket of California in Manteca. A young girl's mother dies tragically in an auto accident just before she could deliver a short speech introducing Eleanor Roosevelt. To honor her mother, the main character enlists her best friend to make the trip to New York. Along the way, there is a series of improbable events. While most of the scenes are silly, there is nonetheless good humor and charm throughout the film.

Part of the charm of the film derives from the screenwriters' references to movies and culture of the early 1960s. While serious events are introduced, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the writers keep the mood light, constantly interjecting humor and silliness. The most absurd situation was a traveling companion picked up by the girls, who is an escaped convict, who bails them out of difficulty when they are arrested. Later, the convict inexplicably drops out of the plot by boarding a single-engine airplane and flying off into the sunset. Without a doubt, the scenes with convict are the funniest in the film, especially the banter that implies that the man might be one of the felons from Alcatraz, who made a daring prison break at this time.

While the character of Eleanor Roosevelt was not developed in much depth, she was still given a fine tribute for her many humanitarian achievements, not the least of which was delivering her own speech about civil rights in the face of threats from the KKK. This was a thoughtful film with both humorous and touching moments from writers with excellent potential.
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7/10
Whimsical Tale
larrys328 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I would say perhaps the best way to enjoy this movie is not to take it seriously but regard it as a whimsical and humorous fantasy, and to just go with the flow of it all.

Initially set, in 1962, in Manteca, California, 15-year-old Ellie Potter (Llana Liberato), has just lost her mother in a car accident as she was heading to introduce the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and champion of human rights, at a local function. Ellie blames herself, as she refused to pick up her brother at school that day causing her mother to change course when the accident occurred.

Ellie is quite depressed as a result, as is her father Bob (Luke Wilson) However, Ellie's best friend Max (Isabelle Fuhrman) prepares and sends a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt asking for a signed photo, or even a meeting, in an attempt to raise Ellie's spirit. Max, though, is unaware that her friend Billy (Joel Courtney) has sent them a phony reply from the former First Lady saying she would be open to visiting with them in her home in upstate New York.

Thus, Ellie and Max will set off on a cross country road trip, hoping to eventually meet Mrs. Roosevelt. They'll be plenty of adventures along the way and, as mentioned, it's probably best not to take them all too seriously, but I felt the film became more enjoyable as it progressed.

Note: Just to mention there are a ton of over-the-top smoking scenes in the movie, but in those days smoking in public was extremely prevalent, even encouraged by advertisers etc.

Overall, I thought this film directed by Kevin Connolly, and co-written by Cecelia Contreras and Amy Garcia, contained quite solid acting from those already mentioned, plus Josh Lucas and Jessica Alba enhanced the movie, while even Patrick Schwarzenegger (yes-the son of Arnold) gets a small beefcake role here. To me, this film became more enjoyable as it progressed, eventually leading up to its quite poignant ending.
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8/10
Enjoyable movie filmed in my home area.
csimpkins539 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I might not have seen this movie except that I know that it was filmed in and around the area in which I live. It would have been a shame had I not seen it because I would have missed seeing a good road trip film! "Dear Eleanor" is about two girls on a cross country road trip from California to the east coast on a quest to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. However, other than a scene or two shot in Utah the movie was filmed almost entirely in and around my hometown of Longmont, Colorado (Population 90,000 plus and 35 miles north of Denver). For example, the scene that is supposed to be a Police station in Kentucky is actually an old library building in Longmont. A scene that shows the Chrysler going past Janie's Café is also in the older part of Longmont. There were numerous other scenes shot in Longmont including a farmhouse just outside of town and some of the interior shots in the film as well. Eleanor Roosevelt's house on the east coast is actually a house in old town Longmont. The scene where Bob Potter's truck breaks down and Billy Hobgood gives him a ride in his motorcycle's side car was shot just outside of Longmont. The town of Manteca Ca. in the film is actually the small town of Niwot, Co (about five miles from Longmont). The scene at the "Country Corner Store" and gas station is actually an abandoned store in the small town of Hygiene about a mile from the western edge of Longmont. The interior of what is supposed to be the Paramount theater in New York is actually a theater in Denver. It's too bad this film did not get a proper theatrical run. It was shot in 2:39:1 aspect ratio which would have been perfect for theater release. I do recommend this movie for at least a rental or good addition to any collection.
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Cute, but didn't capture the 60s
kimintuitive8 April 2020
Cute movie and story. But the two girls acted too modern and not enough attention was paid to the speech and demeanor of the people to match the 1960s. I think maybe it should have just been set in modern day and it would have still worked and the viewer wouldn't have that in the back of their minds the whole time. Still wondering why that kid's lips are blue.
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Mostly an entertaining 90 minutes of road trip movie.
TxMike21 March 2020
I came across this movie while looking for Jessica Alba movies I had not watched yet. She has a good role here as the entertainer aunt of one of the teenage girls. My wife and I watched it on DVD from our public library.

Set in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis looming, California teenager Ellie loses her mother to a car wreck right before mom was to deliver an address directed at Eleanor Roosevelt. As teenagers might Ellie and her friend Max (a girl) decide to skip out and take an unlikely road trip to New York to look up Roosevelt and deliver mom's speech.

Except for Max who is overly annoying all the characters are good, in different ways. Mostly it is an entertaining road trip, with dad trying to hunt down the delinquent girls and what happens once they actually arrive in New York.
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Likable characters
Gordon-1114 June 2020
It is a pretty sweet and engaging story. The characters are likable. I enjoyed it.
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7/10
Nice hair
Jenispenn8 January 2018
Nice wig you got there, Max. And Jessica Alba, yeah shes cute too. Nice movie. But please Max's wig hurt my eyes
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4/10
road trip
SnoopyStyle2 November 2019
It's 1962 small town California. Caroline Potter is set to make a speech to her hero, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She is killed in a car accident on the same day that Marilyn Monroe died and her daughter Ellie (Liana Liberato) blames herself for it. Her father Bob Potter (Luke Wilson) is overwhelmed and hopeless with his many kids. Her best friend Max (Isabelle Fuhrman) writes to Eleanor Roosevelt. Billy has a crush on Max and forges a reply to please her. The girls decide to drive to New York so that Ellie could finish an important quest. Along the way, they are joined by escaped convict Frank Morris (Josh Lucas) and Max's Aunt Daisy (Jessica Alba) with the Cuban Missile Crisis in the background. Ellie gets a kiss from hunky Bud (Patrick Schwarzenegger).

It's trying to be a light road trip with some wacky screwball fun. It's trying to be a nostalgic romp but I doubt the writers are from that era. It's trying to be a tearful coming-of-age story but the mother doesn't have enough time to set it up. It's trying to be a female empowering friendship movie but the girls are being teenage girls. They need more than a talkative Max to elevate the friendship to BFF4Ever. The only truly satisfying character plot line comes from Aunt Daisy. Her journey is a good solid standard self-empowering journey. The escaped convict story has all the wrong tones and needs to be eliminated. It's trying to be comedic but elements of the story really clash with that tone. The movie needs to start with more of the mother and her obsession with Eleanor Roosevelt. Once that is established, Ellie's journey would be much more compelling. This is written and directed by people who can't deliver the time period or the story elements to make this work. I do like the characters and the actors which helps. Otherwise, it's not a compelling drive.
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