Thursday, August 9, 2012

In the Land of Women (2006) [PG-13] ***

Writer/director Jonathan Kasdan's film is a character-driven study of how five women, ages ten to eighty, grow and evolve through their life experiences. The story is told from the viewpoint of Carter Webb (Adam Brody), an introspective twenty-something writer who's recovering from the breakup of his first love affair.

Following his rejection by Sofia (Elena Anaya), Carter moves from L.A. to quiet, suburban Michigan, where he hopes that caring for his aged grandmother Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis) will give his broken heart a chance to heal. Hardly has he unpacked his suitcase than he begins to connect with the three women in the household across the street; wife and mother Sarah (Meg Ryan), teenage daughter Lucy (Kristen Stewart) and pre-teen daughter Paige (Makenzie Vega). As caregiver and confidant, Carter offers compassion, friendship and wisdom to these women. And as he begins to heal, he discovers that he has something to say, and he begins to write a children's book.

This isn't a perfect story, and ten years from now Jonathan Kasdan may look back and see how it could have been done differently and better. But it's a good story, and it contains some valuable life lessons. One is that a loving relationship will be more rewarding if we accept the other person as they are, rather than trying to change them into our ideal of what they should be. Another lesson is that sometimes the person we're meant to be with is right there in front of us, and has been there the whole time. 

Labels: comedy, drama, romance     
Internet Movie Database     
Metacritic 47/100     
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=53, viewers=64)

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