Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Elizabeth Olsen, Nat Wolff, Chace Crawford, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Marissa O’Donnell, Rosanna Arquette, Kyle MacLachlan
Diane (Catherine Keener) is a powerful lawyer, and a mother, and facing a sudden divorce. The only way out seems to be to go home to stay with her estranged “hippie” mother, Grace (Jane Fonda). The two have not spoken in years, but the kids are enthralled with their free spirit, pot smoking, hippie grandma, much more to the chagrin of their straight laced mother. This is a story of family togetherness, despite the odds, and a chance for a daughter and her mother to find some common ground and come together after years apart.
This isn’t a really great film. Jane Fonda has played a few rather clever roles as a bitch mother in law type person which were pretty good. In this one she is a true hippie who has never left the pot smoking and the free love behind. But Diane is wound a bit too tight as well, and she needs to loosen up a bit. Naturally the kids side with the fun grandma. It strikes me a funny, as a child of the 60′s growing up and going to college in the “flower power”, “love-in” generation (and missing it all for the most part growing up in a back woods small town that missed the whole thing) we knew we were embarrassing our behavior. Most of my generation left it behind. I can’t forget the leader of the “hippie” movement in my college who because an executive for J.C. Penney and wore a suit and carried a briefcase by the last 70′s. But at the same time, some of our generation didn’t leave it behind and are still living this way today, 50 years later! This was part of the plot of the second “Meet the Parents” film, “Meet the Fockers”. The Greg’s family were certainly left over hippies. Jane Fonda is ideal to play a role like this, but it does come off a bit fake, I’m afraid. She knows what she’s supposed to do, but seems really uncomfortable playing it. But the point I was trying to make is that those of our generation who stayed in the tie dyed shirts and bell bottom pants gave us the odd situation of both embarrassing the hell out of our parents, but of embarrassing our kids as well.
Anyway, this is light film, and has some funny characters, but the relationships are kind of strained, and never feel quite natural, and the whole thing is somewhat underwhelming for sure. I did not really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I did not really hate it, and it has some good moments, but for the most part, I felt it fell short of the mark. It could have been a lot better.
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