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Monday, 4 December 2017

Retro Review: Bonneville (2006)

Cast: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen, Christine Baranski
Genre: Comedy Drama
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $1,253 million 

Plot: Three women take a road trip to Santa Barbara in order to deliver the ashes of one of their dead husbands to his resentful daughter 

'Road Trip Movie With A Difference, & A Gem As Well'

A lesser-known independent flick which received a limited release in the U.S, Bonneville works because of the main leads, who bring much-needed charm and is a cross between Thelma & Louise and Steel Magnolias. Three mature women, one a widower, miss their plane trip to go on a road trip and head out to scatter their late husband's ashes. Along the way, they meet a different set of characters, laugh, bond and find contentment. 

Arvilla, played by Jessica Lange just lost her husband of 20 years and she has promised to scatter his ashes all around the places that they have visited. 

My favourite scenes were the ones with Arvilla and a young hitchhiker named Bo, it was like a mother and son type moment that they had and they were really touching, in particular, the scene when the women say farewell to him. 

There is a kids movie titled Girls Just Wanna Have Fun with Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, Shannon Doherty which has a similar premise to this movie, only it is not as enjoyable. The Mormon theme in this movie isn't and wasn't that much of an issue to me and the religious tone wasn't as preachy as I'd come to anticipate.

Some people will say this is a film that will not interest those under 45, but for some of the overly preachy scenes, I actually enjoyed this one a good deal. The performances were well done, especially Jessica Lange, who I paid much attention to and of whom I watched this movie for than for any other actress. It was nice to see her in a role such as this. Although Kathy Bates and Joan Allen were good as well and the actor, Victor Rasuk who played Bo was really good as well. 

In all, this was a nice and pleasant surprise and yet also, it's a shame it went unnoticed back in 2006 when it was released because it deserves a watch for anyone interested in lighter, feel-good dramas. 

Final Verdict:

A rather solid blend of light comedy with drama and a sentimental value attached to it, obviously it is not going to blow people's minds (it didn't for me) and it is cliched, but the story is brought to life by the performances of Kathy Bates, Joan Allen and Jessica Lange, who hold this film together. Even though it did not find much success in theaters/cinemas due to the mormon-ism theme & older cast members, Bonneville has its charms and some really nice and touching scenes. 

This was a really pleasant watch and is one of the gems of the 2000s.  


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