Release Date: October 7th, 2005 by Twentieth Century Fox.
The Cast: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Feuerstein, Jerry Adler, Candice Azzara, Brooke Smith.
Directed by Curtis Hanson.
BASIC PREMISE: After a fight with her sister Rose (Collette), Maggie (Diaz) moves in with Ella (MacLaine), her grandmother, at a retirement community.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This film is filled with so many pleasant surprises that it is impossible not to be entertained. First of all, Diaz, Collette, and MacLaine are all very appealing actresses and have a lot of fun with their roles. The 1st act sets up Rose’s romantic insecurities and low self esteem about her body—very similar to Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding, who also happens to be played by Collette. Rose is nice enough to allow her sister to stay with her. Maggie is just the opposite: she is confident, outgoing, and sleeps with more guys than she can even count. After a series of irresponsible wild nights, both in and out of the apartment, Rose kicks her out. The rest of the film takes place in a Miami retirement community where Maggie entertains her grandmother. Shirley MacLaine is full of warmth and charisma in every one of her scenes. The script is filled with a lot of refreshing humor which, fortunately, is not offensive. It is also a very unstilted script. For example, instead of saying “He died this morning.”, the line has a realistic pause: “He died (pause) this morning.”. It is difficult to mix comedy and drama, but this film does it very well without seeming fake. Fortunately, every actress gets a chance to shine—even an elderly woman who Ella takes care of. The costume design is also worth mentioning, especially if you love shoes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The strongest message in this film is that of forgiveness. Maggie and Rose have to patch up their relationship with forgiveness. She must also forgive her grandmother for not being there for her for most of her life. It is never too late to patch up your relationship with somebody, but the first step is to be honest and to face life no matter how difficult it is.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH
THE BOTTOM LINE: A very appealing cast with three very talented actresses playing very real characters. It is also full of humor, wisdom and plenty of touching moments.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st run)
The "I" Menu