Buzz-Worthy Role

Is there more toxic than a woman with venomous scorn? Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) has been abandoned by her husband and she’s left to care her four daughters. Her idea of coping is drinking lots of alcohol. Her idea of parenting is contradicting her daughters. For a seriously unstable lady, it is sort of cute that her romantic leaning post is the equally off-balance Denny (Kevin Costner), her frequently stoned neighbor.

I don’t know how to describe Joan Allen’s brilliant performance here. It covers a lot of range that it must be more than a mere balance of drama and comedy. And yes, it is quite refreshing to see the typically dramatic actress spill her way into some hilarious situations. You just never know what unfiltered words can escape from Terry’s brutal mouth. Kevin Costner (whose recent movies I’ve been avoiding lately) is wonderfully relaxed as Denny and gives a much needed masculine presence in an almost all female cast. It’s interesting to note that this was written by a man (Mike Binder). Perhaps he is the reason the movie doesn’t get too sappy. And perhaps he is the reason my sisters hated the movie. The movie does end up in a state of logical reasoning (what’s the upside of anger?) as opposed to chick flicks that aims to drain your tears. I think the former approach has more lasting impact. I’d like to think it opts to drain the anger rather than the tears.

Grade: A-