Tumbleweeds (1999)

TUMBLEWEEDS is another mother-drags-teenage-daughter-to-California 
drama a la ANYWHERE BUT HERE, except without the big-name leads, a 
less conflict-ridden relationship, and a whole lot more (annoying) 
handheld camera work.  Janet McTeer and Kimberly Brown play the 
drawlin' duo, a couple Carolinians on the lam from Abusive Marriage 
Number Four.  They have some minor misadventures on the road, ar-
rive unscathed in Southern Cal, and begin building their life anew.  
Things start get to strained, however, when mom falls back into her 
pattern of shackin'-up with the first guy she sees.  Conflict en-
sues.  Gavin O'Connor (COMFORTABLY NUMB) co-writes and directs and, 
though his film feels a bit aimless at times-- nor does it deliver 
much dramatic punch-- he pulls a superb pair of performances from 
the two.  In particular, the big-haired, bigger-eyed McTeer is a 
real piece of work-- relentlessly upbeat as she bounces around in 
her show-all sundresses.  The director also appears as the new boy-
friend and he's very good.  You can chart their entire relationship 
just by watching his face...  Now, if only someone can explain the 
use of desert footage as a stand-in for Western North Carolina. 
Huh?  Way better than a coffee enema.  (Rated "PG-13"/104 min.)

Grade: B-
Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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