Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.
When the mother of his infant son unexpectedly passes away, struggling actor Mark grapples with fatherhood and his inability to grow up. And when he sparks with a single mother, he learns how his choices have real-life consequences.
Everything changes for Eva when she receives a life insurance check accidentally made out for five million dollars instead of the expected fifty thousand dollars. She and her best friend take the money and head out for the adventure of a lifetime.
Harriet (Shirley MacLaine) is a successful, retired businesswoman who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end. To make sure her life story is told her way, she pays off her local newspaper to have her obituary written in advance under her watchful eye. But Anne (Amanda Seyfried), the young journalist assigned to the task, refuses to follow the script and instead insists on finding out the true facts about Harriett's life, resulting in a life-altering friendship.Written by
Some great moments, great talent, a little predictable for much of it
First of all, a shout-out to Eric Koretz. This is not a film that calls attention to itself visually, but some of the cinematography is gorgeous. The film itself is generally enjoyable, and feels original enough for long stretches. Then it veers into predictability and even strains credibility at one point. The theme of a difficult or undisciplined person opening someone more conventional and reserved to a richer, more self-realized life is a pretty established one at this point and this film too often hits the marks of that sub-genre. Still, Shirley MacLaine is, well, Shirley MacLaine, even when she's playing to type, and Philip Baker Hall has a texture as an actor that makes him enveloping to watch all on his own; put them together in a scene and it doesn't get any better. Anne Heche doesn't do much here, but she does it with her usual assurance and delineation. Young AnnJewel Lee Dixon sparkles so here that it is astonishing to see she has not done more since. A number of other familiar faces are nice to see in smaller roles. (HOW does Sarah Baker, who has such an extensive list of credits and so clear a type, not have a fatter bio?) The scaffolding of the story pokes through a little overmuch sometimes, but the emotional life overall is consistent and strong. Oh, and there's one great sight gag which depends on no more than a slow pan down the speaker's face. Not a perfect film, but a film with some perfect moments.
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