'Land of Women' problems real, but spirituality missing

5/1/2007

By Phil Boatwright
The Movie Reporter

In the Land of Women
Stars: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Meg Ryan, Olympia Dukakis, Makenzie Vega
Director: Jonathan Kasdan
Rating: PG-13 (for language) 

A spiring writer Carter Webb has just been dumped by his true love, Sophia. Heartbroken and depressed, he escapes Los Angeles to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother and to start work on a book he has always wanted to write. Soon after his arrival, Carter stumbles into the lives of the family across the street: Sarah Hardwicke and her two daughters.

I enjoyed being In the Land of Women. In it, people have real problems, including a woman facing breast cancer and an adulterous husband, an old woman facing death and plenty of teen angst. The characters realize that they must draw together in order to cope with said problems. Though the screenwriter found it necessary to make several of his characters a little too quirky, the direction is lively and there are nice performances by all, especially Meg Ryan. 

Sadly, they are not a group that seeks spiritual fulfillment. Most of the objectionable language comes from women and girls. When people get mad or face fearful outcomes, even those made of sugar and spice, they often release those frustrations through language.

Video alternative: The Bishop’s Wife. Cary Grant, Loretta Young. An angel aids a struggling minister. I marveled at the ending sermon given by the bishop, played by David Niven. Standing behind his pulpit, the pastor reminds his parishioners to focus attention on Christ. “All the stockings are filled, except one. We’ve even forgotten to hang it up: The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we’re celebrating.  Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us each ask what he would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share.” Wow. 

Meet The Robinsons
Voices: Angela Bassett, Jordan Fry, Tom Kenny, Harlan Williams, Adam West, Daniel Hansen, Tom Selleck
Director: Stephan J. Anderson
Rating: G 

Lewis is an orphan, a creative 12-year-old inventor who dreams of finding a family. His journey takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks him away to a world where anything is possible — the future.  

There, he meets an incredible assortment of characters and a family beyond his wildest imagination, the Robinsons, who help lead him on an amazing and hilarious adventure with heartfelt results. But while Lewis is experiencing the joy of family, he is also being pursued by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy, a villain bent on possessing one of Lewis’s latest inventions – the Memory Scanner. 

Full of energy and humor, with an exceptional voice cast and a clever, thoughtful script that is part adventure, part parable, Meet the Robinsons delivers one of the best family films you’ll see this year.  

Meet the Robinsons is being shown in 3-D in some theaters. Do yourself – and especially your kids – a favor. Go see this one in 3-D. It may be the best 3-D animation this reviewer has ever seen. The detail is eye-filling. 

The filmmakers seemed to have had a blast making this film and wanted to go the extra mile. They succeeded. Quite simply, Meet the Robinsons is a winner for the entire family.

Have You Seen….?

Have you recently seen a movie that made an impression on you, good or bad? Share it with other readers of the Mississippi United Methodist Advocate. No need to get technical, just tell us why it made an impression. Accounts should be about 300 words. Please include your name, a contact number and a one- or two-sentence biography.