A plucky good turn by Zellweger

Posted: September 04, 2009

My One and Only is a good career move for Renée Zellweger. As a ladylike dame looking for a new husband, she exhibits pluck and fortitude. And she wears every one of her 40 years like a string of lustrous pearls.

Instead of yet another flick where for six reels she is the seesawing singleton who finds balance, and a partner, in the seventh, in this '50s-era road movie Zellweger, a woman of a certain age, plays a woman of a certain age facing uncertainty. It's refreshing, and let's hope it's her passport out of rom-com purgatory and into mature roles.

Sadly, it is a better career move than it is a movie.

Zellweger is society belle Anne Devereaux, tarnished golden girl, who discovers bandleader spouse (Kevin Bacon) in bed with another woman and sweeps teenage sons into a Coupe de Ville for points, and marital prospects, West. But the film lacks the gravity, wit, and propulsion of its star.

Moreover, it lacks the scene or two that would make its central figures, Anne and her younger son, George (the very fine Logan Lerman), emerge as characters rather than as caricature of mother and rebellious son.

Directed by Richard Loncraine, the veteran British director who made the charming Wimbledon, the movie sputters and stalls. Perhaps this is Loncraine's way of suggesting that Anne, ever moving forward geographically, is stuck in the same place emotionally.

My One and Only is loosely based on the youthful (mis)adventures of actor George Hamilton and his peripatetic mother who had an instinct for Mr. Wrong (variously played by Chris Noth, Eric McCormack, and Steven Weber). It is diverting but insubstantial.


Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or crickey@phillynews.com.

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