I do not know why this movie is rated so low. It's an endearing and funny film told to the audience from the perspective of 2 people: The mother and the eldest daughter. The mother, Dottie, played nicely by Julie Kavner, is a single mother of 2 who is working hard to support her daughters as well as to try her hand at stand-up comedy. Kavner, best known now as the voice of Marge Simpson on the TV show The Simpsons, is actually quite funny as she uses her entire body in her work. And it's nice to see someone make it in a field that seems, at least for women, to only reward those who fit a specific physical model. In this movie she's perfect. It's like the role was made for her. Samantha Mathis, as the eldest daughter Erica, plays the role of the angst-filled teenager perfectly. What to do when you love your mother so much but she causes so much grief and embarrassment? And Gaby Hoffman as the youngest, Opal, is right on, as usual. The eye rolling, the mixing up of what people said (fidgety versus frigid),and her total faith in her mother and sister ring true. Dan Aykroyd as The Moss, though his part is small, works well, especially in the the scene where Dottie is fighting with Erica and all he does is sit quietly (and maybe eat more paper!) as the "tornadoes" whoosh by. And one of the funniest scenes ever is the typical "first time" between Erica and Jordan (played so well by Danny Zorn). While this scene is happening the background music is Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, which makes it even funnier and made me laugh so hard I almost fell on the floor, especially when it was all over and Jordan says, It's over and Erica says, It is? And a quick poll of my male friends and husband verified that the experience with the condom(s) was right on the money, even down to the facial expressions. A refreshing movie with very few flaws with a good script and a good cast.
This Is My Life
This Is My Life
Keywords: woman director
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Single mom Dottie Ingels sells cosmetics in a department store, but she dreams of being a comedian. When she inherits some money, she takes the chance and moves with her two daughters, Erica and Opal, to New York to perform in small bars. Soon her agent, Arnold Moss, makes her famous, but while she travels all over the USA, the girls stay home lonely.—Tom Zoerner
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A single mother of 2 daughters tries to make it in the world of stand-up comedy.
It would be silly to resist it
The gritty Meg Wolitzer novel Ephron's script is based on is far darker than the cinematic end result, but that doesn't keep this movie from being a sweet, subtle and empathetic (to _all_ its characters, even the potential caricature of a paper-gnawing agent played by Dan Aykroyd) story. It's also as much of a love letter to New York as Woody Allen's "Manhattan" or "Everyone Says I Love You." This isn't a typical Ephron movie the way "Sleepless in Seattle" or "You've Got Mail" are, whatever you might think of them; it's about the genuine trauma of adolescence, the complexities of trying to be a grownup when you're still figuring yourself out, and--transcending the cliche of "the tears of a clown"--the sadness that often lurks behind the most successful lives in comedy and the sacrifices comedians make to get there. The soundtrack by Carly Simon is an extra treat. Highly recommended.
Whimsically winning slice-of-life movie
I just watched this movie for the third time. I chose to watch it on Mother's Day because this is about as realistic a tale about mother-and-daughter bonding and growing pains as you will ever see. Julie Kavner is nothing short of amazing as Dotty, a stand-up comic from Ozone Park, Queens, waiting for her chance to make it to the big time. But, life necessitates tradeoffs. As her career takes off, Dotty is unable to spend much time with her kids who grow resentful. And with her older daughter Erica (an excellent performance by Samantha Mathis) now in the awkward early teen years, everything Dotty does is a personal embarrassment to Erica.
The direction is a bit on the claustrophobic and episodic side. Aside from experimenting with the number of different ways to show polka dots, this is not a visually impressive film, nor is it meant to be.
But on its own terms, it is sweet, warm, winning, and true.