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Daltry Calhoun (PG-13)

Release Date: November 4th, 2005 (NYC-AMC Empire 25)
by Miramax Films.
The Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Elizabeth Banks, Juliette Lewis, David Koechner, Kick Gurry, James Parks, Sophie Trubb.
Directed by Katrina Holden Bronson.

BASIC PREMISE: Daltry Calhoun (Knoxville) reconnects with May (Banks), his ex-girlfriend whom he abandoned fourteen years earlier, and June (Trubb), his fourteen year-old estranged daughter. ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Johnny Knoxville shows a little bit of his serious side for a change as the title character. However, the script does give him plenty of room for low-brow physical comedy and quirky southern humor. The predictable plot meanders at times as Daltry bonds with June and deals with her terminally-ill mother. The real surprise here is Sophie Trubb’s great performance as June. Her character is charismatic, warm, funny, kind and bright. Unfortunately, everyone else comes off as a one-dimensional caricature, including Flora (Lewis) who enters Daltry’s life once May passes away. The other subplots are also uninteresting, such as June’s infatuation with her older neighbor (Gurry). On the other hand, the scenes with her and her father bonding are the most well-written and engaging. If only the script was more focused on that relationship rather than going off on tangents. The awkward mixture of comedy and drama only succeeds during June’s scenes because of Trubb’s well-balanced performance. It’s somewhat refreshing to watch Johnny Knoxville stretch his acting capabilities beyond his silly roles in Jackass and The Dukes of Hazzard. Sophie Trubb is definitely a talent to watch.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: May’s terminal illness and subsequent death lacks emotion and is surprisingly unmoving. The scenes when Daltry and June interact are the most moving as Daltry tries to a better father.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Formulaic, predictable and meandering plot.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Although by far not a masterpiece with its predictable, meandering plot, Sophie Traub shines. She gives the movie a fine balance between drama and comedy.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)

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