Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA/Australia, 2005. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Section Eight, Spring Creek Productions, Munich Hoffmann-Media. Screenplay by Ted Griffin. Cinematography by Peter Deming. Produced by Ben Cosgrove, Paula Weinstein. Music by Marc Shaiman. Production Design by Thomas E. Sanders. Costume Design by Kym Barrett. Film Editing by Robert Leighton.
Jennifer Aniston is perfectly cast as a young woman who has commitment issues with her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo) that go into a tailspin when she finds out a shocking secret about her family: her late mother had an affair with a man before marrying Aniston’s father, and as it turns out, her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) slept with him too. The resemblance of this tale to Charles Webb’s The Graduate is not coincidental, as these characters were apparently the inspiration for that book and subsequent blockbuster film. Before doing anything else, Aniston decides she has to find the mysterious man out, and does, meeting a now aged but successful business tycoon (Kevin Costner) with whom she invariably ends up continuing the family tradition. Although its plot is scattered and the film never really drives towards any kind of impressive accomplishment, the acting is top-grade and the overall atmosphere is extremely enjoyable. MacLaine, who has made a career in her later years of playing rude, feisty women, shines here, and Aniston pulls off her character’s emotional confusions with delicate ease. A cameo by Kathy Bates (with whom Reiner worked on Misery) is a delightful plus.