Release Date: July 4th, 2007 by Warner Independent Pictures.
The Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Khan Chittenden, Richard Wilson, Frankie J. Holden, Emma Booth, Katie Wall.
Directed by Cherie Nowlan.
BASIC PREMISE: When Tim Dwight (Chittenden) gets a new girlfriend, Jill (Booth), his overprotective mother, Jean (Blethyn), a comedienne, tries to separate them.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Brenda Blethyn shines as Jean Dwight in this mostly engaging, mildy charming, but slightly convoluted coming-of-age dramedy. After divorcing her husband (Holden), Jean now takes care of her two sons, Tim and Mark (Wilson), who’s mentally challenged. Both Mark and Jean depend on Tim to be there for them whenever needed, but Tim gradually years to separate from his nest, so-to-speak, especially when he meets the sexy Jill. Little does Jill know that his mother is actually an “entertainer” a.k.a. a comedienne, although she does realize that he’s a mama’s boy and that his mother doesn’t seem to approve of her from the very beginning. Screenwriter Keith Thompson does a decent job of combining awkward humor with believable drama, although some scenes feel a bit too melodramatic with awkward transitions. Each of the characters comes across as rich, complex and interesting, especially Jean, who always wants to know the exact whereabouts of Tim, even if he’s with Jill. She’s not particularly likeable, she’s not nearly as bad and over-the-top as the character Faye Dunaway played in Mommie Dearest. The plot becomes slightly convoluted toward the end of the second act and a few scenes feel rushed. At least director Cherie Nowlan knows how to keep you engrossed by bringing out the charm and sweetness in the bitterness of the drama and, most importantly, by allowing the underrated Brenda Blethyn to stand out in one of her finest performances since Lovely and Amazing and Saving Grace.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s quite moving how Jean and Tim both change in their own ways once Jill enters their lives. Jean’s newfound realizations prove that it’s never too late to change the way you look at yourself and your loved ones as well. Too much care—or too much of anything intangible, for that matter—is suffocating and unhealthy.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Slightly convoluted.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: A bittersweet, mildy charming and engrossing, but slightly convoluted. Brenda Blethyn shines throughout.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (Matinee)
The "I" Menu