My One and Only
The worst part of this is sitting for 110 minutes watching Renée Zellweger with that “I just sucked a lemon” look on her face. How talented can she be if she can’t work on her facial expression? If she does, in fact, have talent, she should be able to do something about that.
Pursed lips aside, this is an interesting story about a lousy mother, Ann Devereaux (Zellweger), who basically kidnaps her two children, 15-year-old George (Logan Lerman) and his older brother, Robbie (Mark Rendall), from their bandleader father, Dan (Kevin Bacon), and whips them across the county looking for a new husband. She’s certainly not an admirable character.
The story is told by George, whose favorite book is J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.” The older son is openly gay, and wants to be an actor. The younger son doesn’t know what he wants to be but eventually is encouraged by a teacher to become a writer.
This film is based on a story that George Hamilton told Merv Griffin about a trip his mother and brothers took in 1955. That story ended in Mexico City. Griffin tried to get it produced for years. Now it finally comes to the screen, adapted to show how he came to Hollywood and became a movie star. Richard Loncraine has turned it into an evocative, episodic “Route 66” tale of the 1950’s. They travel to several different locations and interact with various characters before they arrive in Hollywood. The way Ann dresses and the cars and locations realistically recreate the way America looked more than a half century ago.
Overcoming Zellweger’s facial expression (which is really pervasive) is the acting of Lerman, Bacon and Rendall. Bacon especially captures the character of a band leader whose life is on the road, not at home with his wife and children.
This is probably a little long at 110 minutes but it’s still entertaining.