The Popcorn Reel
Friday, September 4, 2009

My One And Only

Renee Zellweger as Ann Devereaux in Richard Loncraine's film "My One And Only", which opened today in San Francisco and several additional U.S. cities, while continuing in New York.  (Photo: Freestyle Releasing)

Missing Love, Escaping Abandonment, Ignoring Naïveté
By Omar P.L. Moore/      SHARE
Friday, September 4, 2009

"My One And Only" is a sweet, funny and innocent film which means well and takes its audience on a nostalgic trip back to the 1950s in America.  While that period was not the greatest in U.S. history by any stretch, Richard Loncraine's film paints a beautiful, glorious time, romanticizing the baby blue Coupe de Ville as well as eyewear and the American road.  Amidst such camaraderie is Ann (Renée Zellweger), who leaves New York City and her cheating heart of a society-type husband Dan (Kevin Bacon) and goes west, looking for a new life and a new money man.  Ann's trek for such pursuits is anything but smooth, and with her two teenage sons in tow, the cross-country road trip brings forth many revelations and discoveries.

As shot by Marco Pontecorvo, "My One And Only" has a look that can only be described as sumptuous, and the actors have a sheen and life to them that their good performances don't bring enough justice to.  Mr. Bacon plays the music bandstand-leading cad, displaying charm and rascal smarts.  Ms. Zellweger brings a knowing cheekiness, and though she comes close to overplaying Ann early on, she settles into the role and brings a multi-dimensional being to life.  Chris Noth makes for a fiery presence as the military doctor Ann meets along the way, and Logan Lerman and Mark Rendall are terrific as Ann's teenage sons George and Robbie respectively, young men standing on their own two feet in very different ways.  They are just a few of the bright spots in a multi-talented ensemble cast.

Charlie Peters' screenplay is good at showing characters in action, even if the dialogue itself is not always the freshest.  What's important is that the script evokes a time and place, as well as a distinct isolation and divorcement from reality, which is exactly the point of several moments of the film.  Helen Butler's costume design is arresting, especially the outfits Ms. Zellweger sports.  Composer Mark Isham's music score punctuates a George Gershwin-like evocation of a jaunty, curious and adventurous era, and his music is a welcome accompaniment to a sly, sunny and entertaining two hours.

With: Nick Stahl, Eric McCormack, Steven Weber, David Koechner, J.C. MacKenzie and Robin Weigert.

"My One And Only" is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association Of America for sexual content and language.  The film's running time is one hour and 57 minutes.

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