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Film and Video

MOVIE REVIEW

Our Very Own Our Very Own

Starring: Jason Ritter, Cheryl Hines, Allison Janney and Keith Carradine

Miramax Films

I wonder how she did it. Figured out how to be somebody. --Melora [Autumn Reeser]

Another coming-of-age story, this one about five friends in a small town in Tennessee. They learn that a famous actor from their town may be coming back for the annual "Walker [Standard bred horses] Horse Show." Instantly, this could be the escape route the teens crave. What happened to planning college or learning a trade?

Clancy [Jason Ritter] seems to have the most complicated home life: when his alcoholic father loses his job, it effects the entire family as his mother's furniture gets repo-ed and she can no longer write checks at the grocery store. In this small town, everyone knows what is going on with everyone else. Melora [The O.C.'s Autumn Reeser] obsesses on the starlet's arrival. Clancy seems more interested in Melora than in getting out anywhere.

Reeser shines with expressive eyes and melding into the bubbly Melora. She and Ritter have a natural, easy chemistry. The film has a musical/town production of Our Town to many of its scenes.

Stereotypes abound: quirky kids toggled by the ennui of a small town life, nagging mothers and waiting for something or in this case, someone, to catapult their lives out of the small town. It is almost a teen dramatization of Waiting for Guffman [less humor, wit and originality and more angst]. The dreams and ambitions of the youth are juxtaposed with the stagnant lives of the adults.

There is never enough character development to become invested in these characters and I felt like I was watching a Lifetime movie with talented actors [Cheryl Hines, Allison Janney and Keith Carradine are also in Our Very Own].


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