Peace, Love and Jane Fonda
Strung together from cliché to cliché, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is an exercise in mediocrity from a cast that should have known better than to sign on the dotted line for material this mundane.
Stop me if you heard this one - In order to escape her banal marriage and inevitable divorce, a Manhattan lawyer (Catherine Keener) and mother of two teenagers, takes a road trip with the kids to visit her estranged hippie mother (Jane Fonda) in Woodstock, where she discovers the true meaning of family.
Though at times heartfelt, nothing is new here and there in which lies the problem with the film. The struggles of each character remind you of the same thing your have witness in countless other pictures over the half century and are at times laughable in their unembellished nature.
Sadly not even Catherine Keener can save this mess of a picture. Her keen acting ability tries to keep the film afloat, though suffice it to say, that is not enough. Same goes for veteran Jane Fonda, who plays an exaggerated version of herself circa her activist days decades ago. Elizabeth Olson, who was incredible in last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are left with hackneyed roles that we have seen monotonously time and time again over the years.
Director Bruce Beresford, who some may recall helmed the Academy Award winning Driving Miss Daisy, does little to help the audience view this as little more than a Lifetime movie of the month. While the film is by no means an abomination, it still will be easliy forgotten the second the credits roll.
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding is nothing more than typical family bonding fare with some contrived comedy thrown in for good measure. Nothing more, nothing less.
The film opens today at Cleveland's Cedar Lee Theatre courtesy of IFC Films.