My One and Only

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Posted August 27, 2009 in Film

George Hamilton, famed ladies’ man whose conquests included Lynda Bird Johnson and his own stepmother, learned his skills young. Dad was a bandleader beset by groupies and mom Ann was a Southern coquette whose main survival skill was landing a rich husband. After dad brought home one girl too many, Ann packed up her bags and her teenage sons and drove west in a brand new convertible, making pit stops in every town large enough to get a ring on her finger. When Merv Griffin heard the story of Hamilton’s teen years—which ended when the trio dead-ended in Los Angeles and the handsome boy lucked into an MGM contract—he knew it was a film. Griffin didn’t live long enough to see it, but here it is with Renée Zellweger playing the naive femme fatale (here named Anne Deveraux); Kevin Bacon, the music man with the eager fingers; and Logan Lerman and Mark Rendall playing George and his flamboyant older brother Robbie.

 

Zellweger’s Anne is like a wild bunny. Cute, scrunchy-faced and immaculate in her white gloves, she’s far more Charlotte than Samantha, though she couldn’t give a hoot what the boys will eat for dinner if she’s got a date with a banker. She operates on panic and instinct. Director Richard Loncrain presents her as the most desirable woman in the world. We’re reluctant to buy it, especially since she’s no great shakes in the brains or conversation department. But halfway through when Anne starts to recognize that a younger generation of beauties now has first dibs on the wealthy bachelors, we’re afraid for her like we would be for Bugs Bunny before Elmer Fudd’s rifle. This is a trifle too sweet to dip as dark as despair—at worst, we know Anne will learn self-reliance. Writer Charlie Peters doesn’t think there’s any personal insecurity that can’t be shaken off by driving real fast with the top down in the Caddy. In the last month of blockbuster season, this is a bunt—a disaster-free date you won’t remember in a month.


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