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Our Very Own

03 Feb

Our Very Own — directed by Cameron Watson. Comedy. Five Teenagers await the return of a movie star to their small town, while their parents’ marriages go off a cliff. 106 minutes Color 2005.

* * * *

I watched this to see the redoubtable Allison Janney, and I was not disappointed. She plays her scenes full-out and yet somehow manages to stay within the confines of the role in the situation perfectly. I don’t understand how she does it. I guess every young actor should steal from this masterful actor, but I suppose such things cannot be learned but only given as gifts from God. She certain was given the ability to memorize lines on sight, and this frees her to her depths to apply herself to the scene. She is an actor with a happy heart. I hope Oscars come teeming towards her in the days to come. Otherwise, I thought the piece beautifully acted by everyone else as well, except for Keith Carradine who really cannot hold the screen and never has been able to. But I don’t mind him; he has not much to do here, except be not present when he is needed. He is Janney’s drunkard husband, in full denial of the disaster he has brought upon his wife, his home, his children, and his community. The subplot involving their kids is sappy, but the sense of a real place in the real South rings true, and the five youngsters who are chums are very good each in their own way. Jason Ritter is simple and appealing and good looking and not too interested, thank goodness, in projecting a charm which the director might mistake for anything more than the calculation of youth. And Autumn Reeser opposite him is lovely and convincing in everything she does. The picture is home-made blueberry pie, unlike How To Deal, another teen-flick in which Janney plays a housewife with a husband in dereliction of duty. That one is gummy. This one is yummy.

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