Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Peace. Love and Misunderstanding": Jane Fonda Deserves Better 

Wednesday, Jun 6 2012

How much longer must we wait for a vehicle worthy of Jane Fonda, whose past few roles are just shy of elder abuse? Three generations of fine actresses are squandered in Bruce Beresford's Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, an incompetently structured film that pits hippies against squares with the usual wearying results. This head-hammering, clash-of-values family-healing dramedy makes sure to literalize all of its uplifting messages; gentle admonitions about "letting go" are immediately followed by a bright yellow balloon's release into a cerulean sky. Reeling from her husband's demand for a divorce, pinched Manhattan lawyer Diane (Catherine Keener) drives to Woodstock with her two teenaged children in tow for a reprieve at the home of her earth-goddess mother, Grace (Jane Fonda). Diane, appalled by Mom's pot-growing and free-loving, hasn't spoken to Grace in 20 years; her children, Whitman-quoting vegan Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) and twerpy aspiring filmmaker Jake (Nat Wolff), are meeting their batik-dress-wearing granny for the first time. Written by first-timers Joseph Muszynski and Christina Mengert and directed by old-timer Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), PL&M chucks specific characterization and conflict for countless clichés (both visual and oral), pop-psych bromides ("I promised myself I would never enable her again," Diane says after she bails Grace out of jail for weed-dealing), and semi-topical headlines (Chace Crawford's butcher of organic meats lectures on GMOs).

About The Author

Melissa Anderson


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"