MOVIE REVIEW- No man's land: Meg & you and a dog named Bozo
Another movie, another disappointment. Thanks, Hollywood.
The award for the most deceptive trailer of the week goes to In the Land of Women, which looks like a bright romantic comedy. Teenage girl and twentysomething boy. She has a hot mom and a jealous boyfriend. He has a funny grandmother. Let the fun begin!
So you go to the movie and find the funny parts aren't so funny in a context of heartbreak, breast cancer, senility, and infidelity.
Carter Webb (The O.C.'s Adam Brody), who writes soft porn for a living but has more serious aspirations, is dumped by movie star Sofia (Elena Anaya) in the opening and decides he needs a change of scene to get over it. He goes to Michigan to take care of his old Grandma (Olympia Dukakis, channeling Estelle Getty).
The Hardwickes, the neighbors across the street from Grandma's house, have enough problems that they could retain Dr. Phil full-time and he'd still call for backup. Or they can just confide in the new screenwriter in town and give him story ideas.
Sarah (Meg Ryan) has breast cancer. She knows her husband (Clark Gregg) is having an affair, but he doesn't know she knows. Their daughter Lucy (Kristen Stewart) knows but she has her own teenage problems. She's hanging out with Gabe (Graham Wardle), the high school quarterback, who feels possessive toward her even though he's hooking up with her best friend. Gabe's best friend, Eric (Dustin Milligan), has a mad crush on Lucy.
Pop quiz: Who will Carter screw first, Lucy or Sarah? Or since we're going for a PG-13 here, who will he kiss first? Will those walks with Sarah and her dog, Bozo, have more impact on him than the high school party where he's Lucy's trophy date?
Lucy has a precocious (to put it mildly) little sister, Paige (Makenzie Vega), who lives vicariously through her: "I'm too young to have a life of my own."
Writer-director Jonathan Kasdan is getting wider distribution than his brother Jake (they're both sons of Lawrence Kasdan), who has The TV Set in current release, but Jake has made the better film.
Maybe it's the intense chick-flickiness of In the Land of Women (the title could be a clue). Maybe it's the fact that both of the young leads smoke. Maybe it's the false expectations raised by the trailer. Maybe there's enough of this sensitive, pretentious crap on TV.
Or maybe In the Land of Women is just an excruciatingly bad movie.