One day while out sharing a typical luncheon with his one friend (Chevy Chase), Vic reveals that he has been approached to be guest of honor to receive a special lifetime achievement award at a special screening of his life's work, in Nashville, Tennessee. Though completely disinterested at first, Vic is convinced by Chevy to take advantage of this last opportunity for personal glory and recognition.
From the moment he touches down in Tennessee, everything seems to go wrong. Vic is picked up at the airport by a young, rude, tattooed millennial brat named Lil (Ariel Winter). She is to chauffeur him around in a barely-running wreck of a car, as she argues endlessly with her boyfriend on her cell phone when driving. Worse still, the hotel Vic is staying at is a cheap fleabag dump. The indignity of the situation is brought home for good once Vic arrives at the venue and discovers this glorious event is being held at a local bar, and hosted by little more than a fanboy group of devoted geeks who like watching Vic Edwards films in their basements. Completely humiliated by the experience, Vic leaves and asks Lil to drive him three hours to his hometown of Knoxville. It is there where the fallen idol will come to terms with who he was, who he is now, and what he will do with what remains of his future.
Reynolds gives a very endearing performance. Ariel Winter is properly irritating and gruff as hell at first, but as the story moves ahead, she managed to win me over as her character goes through an awakening along with Reynolds'. Although I am nowhere near Burt's age at this time, I am well over middle-age and this movie made me take more stock in myself as well. It is a very human story and quite rewarding. It's also so refreshing to enjoy an actual story with characters in a new movie for a change, instead of suffering through endless CGI trickery and special effects overkill (though some such liberties are sparingly taken in a few dream sequences incorporating moments from Burt's popular movies, such as DELIVERANCE and SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT). Well worth watching, especially for older viewers. *** out of ****