cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

 
Click for full size poster

Anywhere But Here

Starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman
Screenplay by Alvin Sargent
Based on the book by Mona Simpson
Directed by Wayne Wang
website: www.foxmovies.com/anywherebuthere

IN SHORT: Definitely for Cranky's mom. [Rated [PG-13], 113 minutes]

Anywhere but Bay City, Wisconsin is where 40-something Adele August (Susan Sarandon) wants to be. More attractive to her is Beverly Hills, California where everything is "happy and sunny" and just the opposite of the demeanor of her 14 year old daughter Ann (Natalie Portman), a sullen teen who liked things the way they were. But stuck Ann is, in a used Mercedes automobile, driving cross-country to a new life. One in which, her mother dreams, she'll become a famous actress.

Such is the start of director Wayne Wang's Anywhere But Here, adapting Mona Simpson's book in which a dream driven mother must learn to grow up and an angry daughter must learn that her mom ain't so bad. Simply put, anyone with a more than sufficient supply of testosterone will be gritting their teeth, hoping and praying that they've done the right thing by sitting through this aimed-at-the-girlfriend flick. Which is not to say that Anywhere But Here is a chick flick. Cranky set himself down in the middle of a crowd of single femmes, all of whom left the theater with nary a gleam of wetness in their eyes. If anything Wang's movie avoids the traditional heart stomping and emotional gut wrenching finale of the traditional c.f. and focusses on the ever changing relationship between mother and daughter. Such laser like focus has its drawbacks. What few supporting characters there are are incredibly weak; most seem to exist only to provide reasonable explanations for getting things done (like the real estate agent/ friend of Sarandon's character who appears when the ladies need a fast change of address).

So strong is the emphasis on the mother daughter relationship that what might have been a heart-wrenching bit about the boy cousin/ best friend (Shawn Hatosy) left behind lacking are the subplots that, every two scenes or so, we get a new song with lyrics intended to match and reveal inner emotional responses of the principal characters. The overwhelming use of songs serves as a pleasant distraction, but little more. What additional stories there are -- Ann's search for the father that abandoned her; Audrey's inability to recognize a one night stand; and Ann's budding relationship with an infatuated boy named Peter (Corbin Allred) -- fail to pack any substantial kind of whomp.

A lack of whomp does not qualify a flick for words beginning with the letter "O". Then again, I'm a guy. . .

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Anywhere But Here, he would have paid...

$2.00

Midweek rental. It's all Portman's show.

Click to buy films by Wayne Wang
Click to buy films starring Susan Sarandon
Click to buy films starring Natalie Portman

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.