Whenever I come across a movie with an all star cast that no one has ever heard of, I think these stars must owe someone a lot of money in Hollywood. My One and Only is one of those movies. The film stars Renée Zellweger as Anne, the mother of two boys and wife to a cheating husband in 1953, played by Kevin Bacon. The movie starts with Anne walking in on her husband in their home with another woman. The scene started out great with her son narrating that she always says that it is not as important what you do in a room, as how you enter and exit the room. Anne takes a breath and walks in with her head held high and begins to pack her things and even takes the time to help the other woman zip up her dress, very classy. From there, the movie begins to take a dip for me. She decides to take her two teenage boys out of school and buy a car and start driving to a new town so that she can find a new husband. The story quickly points out that she is a terrible mother, as she doesn’t remember where her boys go to school. This theme is continued through out with her selfishness and obsession to find a husband, instead of putting roots down somewhere so her boys can get an education.
The premise of a woman in 1953 deciding to go out on her own and travel anywhere needed to find a new husband seemed empowering and intrigued me, however, it just came off as immature and a complete waste of time. The time period is interesting alone, only the movie doesn’t let you experience any of it except for driving around in a light blue Cadillac. She spends very little time in any one place for the viewer to enjoy it and the only things that really feel fifties to me are Anne and her two boys. Her two sons were George, which narrated the film, and Robbie, a subtle, yet obviously gay teenager. They were both played well by Logan Lerman and Mark Rendall. As far as Zellweger as Anne, she looked great for the part and did the best she could for this role. Kevin Bacon was probably the worst for me in this film. He played Dan Devereaux, her husband, and he had a bit of a southern-ish accent… in the beginning. Through out the film, his accent weakens and by the last scene he is in, he sounds like Kevin Bacon.
There were some great supporting cast, mostly Chris Noth, who played Harlan Williams, a former military man who doesn’t take the suit off, who quickly swoons Anne. His screen time is short-lived as the relationship is over like a flash in a pan and he is gone forever. Like most of the relationships in this film, the scenes are very choppy and we have no idea how they went from meeting to engagement in an instant. Nick Stahl plays a young neighbor, Bud, who is infatuated with Anne, but she sees nothing in him. The film builds this relationship in a way that would lead you to believe that he may come back into the picture later, but there was no connection after she left the town.
This film wasn’t a complete miss, there were some enjoyable and heartfelt moments. She has a relationship with a man that brings some humor to the film and there comes a time when she begins to bond with her kids, which was nice. This was by no means a resolution to having uprooted her sons from their lives to drag them across the United States for her escapades, and it ends with what is supposed to be their happy ending, but it fell short for me.
My views of this film may be slanted because I don’t feel like a woman needs to run all over the country to find some one to support her, and this film was trying to say that, but it just came off wrong to me. I think this film should have focused more on George, the son who narrates the film, as he is the one we bond with the most and is forced to grow up at a young age, due to his parents.
I give it 2 “degrees of Kevin Bacon” out of 5
by Angela Davis