Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2001. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Gracie Films, Parkway Productions. Screenplay by Morgan Ward, based on the book by Beverly D’Onofrio. Cinematography by Miroslav Ondricek. Produced by Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, Sara Colleton, Laurence Mark,Richard Sakai. Music by Heitor Pereira, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Bill Groom. Costume Design by Cynthia Flynt. Film Editing by Lawrence Jordan, Richard Marks.
Drew Barrymore once again outdoes herself in this heartwarming film based on the autobiography of Beverly D’Onofrio, a woman whose career in writing was set back by a teenage pregnancy and an underachieving husband. Penny Marshall’s direction as usual is sloppy, though the raggedy editing in movies like Renaissance Man and A League Of Their Own is not as painfully obvious here. That said, she could let the film run for twelve hours and we’d be glad, because Barrymore’s performance is so charismatic that you could never get bored of watching her. Her transformation into the thirty-five year-old D’Onofrio isn’t entirely successful thanks to Barrymore’s perpetually youthful visage, but her acting helps puts the character over at all stages. She is met by a multi-layered and incredibly heart-breaking performance by Steve Zahn as her husband and an excellent Lorraine Bracco in a too-small part as her mother. Brittany Murphy is brilliant as her best friend, and James Woods solid as her father (it always surprises me when he’s good at being non-crazies).