Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

GRANDMA (2015)

The best thing about Paul Weitz’s well-reviewed character dramedy is finding a Pro-Choice film that neither cops out nor trivializes the main issue. (He does stick in a sweet Pro-Life tyke to throw a nasty comic punch at Lily Tomlin, but still . . . )*  If only there was more to celebrate. Tomlin (aging lesbian poet/lit prof/cranky paper-tiger) has just broken up with a much younger girlfriend when her knocked-up teenage granddaughter comes a’knockin’. The girl needs cash for an abortion and (wouldn’t you know it) Tomlin’s cut all her credit cards into pieces. (Apparently, no one’s heard of calling for a replacement card.) So these two tough cookies (one crunchy, one chewy) drive around town, hoping to dig up the funds they need from an assortment of possible cash cows: pimply boyfriend, ex-lover from a hetero past, et al., and finally, the girl’s disapproving mom. Weitz misjudges our interest in this motley gang, and their ability to sustain a narrative. Worse, when in doubt, he goes long & cute, his usual fallback position. Tomlin earns a few honest, uncomfortable laughs, mostly when she’s on the move in her vintage car. But when settled down for extended scenes with real actors , like Sam Elliott as an old flame or Marcia Gay Harden as her powerhouse all-business daughter (she’s the girl’s mother), Tomlin’s sketch-based/multi-character background training leaves her at a huge disadvantage. She all but disappears, along with the goodwill Weitz is counting on to make this work.

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: *We're slapping a Family Friendly label on this precisely because the film gives such a fair, non-judgmental look at the sort of routine abortion practice no one bothers to dramatize in commercial American movies these days.

No comments: