In the Land of Women
Rated PG-13; Directed by Jon Kasdan; Starring Meg Ryan, Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Olympia Dukakis, Makenzie Vega
With a title like In the Land of Women you would think that it is the women who have the most interesting roles in this film, but it’s not the case here. Adam Brody walks away with this film as a struggling writer attempting to get over the girlfriend who dumped him. Along the way he must survive the land of Meg Ryan, Kristen Stewart, and Olympia Dukakis. It makes for a film that sometimes offers fascinating moments, and at other times offers a Lifetime TV-movie. Still, it does have Adam Brody in it.
Carter (Brody), dumped by his beautiful girlfriend, decides to run away and leaves L.A. for Michigan. His excuse? His somewhat demented grandmother (wonderfully played by Olympia Dukakis) needs some looking after. The neighbors across the street are dealing with there own problems. Sarah (Meg Ryan) is a housewife with an unhappy marriage, her daughter Lucy (Kristen Stewart) hates her mom, and her other daughter, Paige (MaKenzie Vega), is too old for her years.
The story has Carter finding a way to take care of everyone while also discovering that his personal tragedy isn’t so tragic after all. Writer and first-time director Jon Kasdan sometimes settles on the cliché, but he also creates some effective scenes that offer plenty of surprises. The movie does feel that several scenes were left on the cutting-room floor, but it doesn’t distract too much from the story.
Adam Brody creates a semi-selfish, semi-Samaritan character that gives the film its heart. There is plenty of humor, along with some tears, and it’s his performance that keeps the film from dipping too far into the Lifetime movie category.