Anywhere But Here

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:54 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Anywhere But Here
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Kiddie Movie: Too young or a boy and they won’t get it.
Date Movie: She’ll probably make you take here anyway.
Gratuitous Sex: Some talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Chuckles.
Memorable Scene: The ending.
Memorable Quote: Here’s a few – Ann’s cousin Benny: “Boobs are beautiful.” Ann to Benny: “You put the wood to Suzy Goodman!” A conversation with Ann & Peter: Peter – “I wanna kiss your lips.” Ann – “What for?” Peter – “I don’t know.”
Directed By: Wayne Wang

I planned on seeing three or four movies this weekend – “Dogma,” “The Messenger,” “Anywhere But Here,” and “Being John Malkovich.” I really wanted to see “Dogma,” sort of wanted to see “The Messenger,” was looking forward to “Being John Malkovich,” and figured I would see “Anywhere But Here” just to add another review. Then, low and behold Big Cooter sends me a review of “The Messenger” so I didn’t need to see that one, Stu Gotz tosses me a “Dogma” review so so much for having to see that one, and I was relegated to seeing “Anywhere But Here” or the Malkovich movie. So, what’s wrong with this picture – Single guy, thirty something, by himself, going to see “Anywhere But Here.” I tried to justify it in my mind by saying Susan Sarandon is still hot and Natalie Portman has a killer smile, but I felt kind of weird on the latter because Natalie played a mid-teen for most of the movie and liking her killer smile just didn’t seem right. Anyway, what about “Anywhere But Here?”

I kinda figured I wouldn’t have too much to relate to this film, it being about a mom and daughter, and, well, I was kind of right because there are usually only things a mom and daughter can share, and this movie hit on most of them. But there was a side that I think most people can relate to and that’s the interaction of a parent and a kid. In “Anywhere But Here” you’ve got Susan Sarandon as Adele, the mom who doesn’t want to waste any more time in Wisconsin, thinks her daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman) can be a star, packs up leaving her second husband, daughter in tow, and drives her Mercedes to Beverly Hills. They meet up with a realty agent who sets them up in the crappy side of Beverly Hills (that’s all they can’t afford), but still able to go to the right schools. Ann hates it and continually threatens to leave her mom, maybe find her real dad, and get on with her life. Adele gets a job at a school, kinda inner-city (a huge culture shock for her), and struggles to pay the electric bill. So, for a couple of hours, we get to see the mother/daughter relationship. Some happy times, some “hate you” times, and just, well, a good story of how as much as you may hate her, your mom is still mom and there is that bond that can never be broken.

There’s more to the story than that I guess, probably more along the lines of how Adele is annoyingly optimistic 98% of the time and how Ann is trapped wanting to live her own life but mom wants her to live the life mom planned out. It’s a story of growing up, letting go, and just kind of figuring out about life.

Susan Sarandon is fantastically annoying in her role as Adele. I couldn’t stand her most of the time and almost hoped for Ann’s sake that Ann would run away. But, she did have her moments as “mom” that you know she just wants the best for her daughter, unfortunately forgetting to ask her daughter what she may want. Then there’s Natalie Portman as Ann, dead-on as the teenage girl struggling to love her mom as mom, and just trying to get through to her that sometimes the parent has to realize their motives aren’t what will make their child happy. She gets embarrassed in front of her friends (haven’t we all), she makes fun of her mom (haven’t we all), and she just wishes her mom was dead sometimes (haven’t we all), but deep down she loves her.

Alright, from a “blow things up” guy’s perspective, you’ll probably hate “Anywhere But Here.” But, it is a touching movie (how’s that from the sensitive, new millennium kind of guy), the acting is great, and I think even as a dude you can relate to the underlying story of a parent who has a dream for their child that, well, doesn’t match the child’s dream. In the end it’s 4 stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!!