This new energetic comedy starring Renee Zellweger is a pleasant enough late summer diversion, definitely more appealling than her forgettable more Hollywoodish New In Town from the beginning of the year.
My One and Only is based on the life of actor George Hamilton (now in his 70s) and maybe is too upbeat and sentimental, especially in its latter scenes.
This episodic, yet nicely paced slice of life/coming of ager set in 1953 works as a frothy adventure as it jettisons from from New York to L.A. with stops in St. Louis and Phoenix.
Zellweger's Ann Deveraux (think a naive Blanche DuBois) has enough of her philandering bandleader spouse (Kevin Bacon) dragging teen sons George (Logan Lerman) and Robbie (Mark Rendall) with her. The actress of Leatherheads and Down With Love has a screwball zany allure with a vanity plate that clicks from Charlie Peters' crisply sensible script under the heady helming by Richard Loncraine, better here than Firewall or Wimbledon.
This often sunny, fairly easily forecasted excursion shot in widescreen with the primary vantage point being that of George with Lerman turning in a surprisingly nuanced portrait. He's kind of the straight man to aspiring actor brother Robbie, as Rendall puts some dapper, vulnerable polish to the role.
Like her sons, one anticipates the troubles for Ann as encounters are made with a variety of fellows like Chris Noth's fatigued army doctor, Steven Weber's ex-flame, as well as a paint store proprietor (David Koechner, part of "The Goods") and a younger, more modest if rather handsome one (Nick Stahl). George eventually has had enough, deciding to relocate with his aunt and uncle (Robin Weigert, JC MacKenzie) in the midwest. Finally, he'll end up out west with his mother and stumbling brother.
My One and Only hits on the hindsight of needing someone outside of the family to hold it together. Some may think Zellweger as the headstrong, perservering Southern belle type may not always jive when it comes to some of adulation she receives, but the emotions generally stick maybe without the edgier, darker underpinnings. It's a somewhat bumpy road trip worth taking that even pokes fun at Hamilton's noted complexion, a period parade about finding your own talent when someone's looking for love in all the wrong places.
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