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Anywhere but Here

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 02/13/00 16:29:21

"Promise unfulfilled, but don't blame the leads."
3 stars (Average)

Portman=perfection. Sarandon=perfection. Script=abomination. Well, two out of three ain't a bad start. If the words "chick flick" have you runnning for the exits, you might want to use the search link above and find Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Now that the guys who think Bruce Willis is a great actor are gone, let's get on with the review. Good stuff. You have two of the best actresses this coming decade will ever set eyes upon and they're both given ample room by the filmmakers to just show it. Unfortunately, that's a one-two punch that the script has a lot of trouble following up.

Sarandon is a smalltown mom with stars in her eyes. She's going to move out to Beverly Hills with her daughter, where said daughter will be an actress and rich dentists will sweep her off her feet. Now, you know and I know, and quite frankly her daughter knows, that this ain't gonna happen. At least not all of it. Cue much mother/daughter jousting as the straight thinking but hen-pecked Portman weeps and weaves her way through the K-Mart wearing mom's lame viewpoint on family life.

Where does Anywhere But Here come unstuck? Well, just as Susan Sarandon's character makes a big deal about where she's going and inevitably finds that when she gets there nothing has changed, this film does the exact same thing. Nothing is achieved, nothing is changed, we just live through the drudgery, get to watch two acclaimed gals of film giving their all and in the end we wonder why it didn't go either all out teary or all out funny.

Not an awful movie at all, but perhaps it should have been. By the leads clawing back some dignity for the piece, it kind of serves to remind you just how good this tearjerker could have been had they really turned on the waterworks. Take a date.

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