This year's Oscar hype season has had the pleasant side effect of highlighting the work of several excellent actresses of "a certain age"— Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep to name a few. Diane Keaton could also be mentioned in this group of experienced actresses who have recently managed the feat of starring in Hollywood movies with substantial roles for older women.
I loved Keaton's verve in Something's Gotta Give, and I even liked her performance as a dying matriarch in the widely (and I think unfairly) panned The Family Stone. So there was a certain anticipation that her presence in the role of an overbearing mom to three adult daughters in Because I Said So meant the movie would be the best sort of chick flick—wise, witty, and warm. Alas.
In this age of "helicopter parents," the movie's premise has great potential. Keaton stars as Daphne, the eccentric mom—and single parent—to Maggie (Lauren Graham), Mae (Piper Perabo), and Milly (Mandy Moore). The two older daughters are paired off, but the youngest, Milly, seems to be posing a problem. She's not married (gasp!). It's not for lack of trying. Milly dates, but her choice in men isn't to her mother's liking. Fearful that her daughter will ruin her life by falling for the wrong man, Daphne decides to take matters into her own hands.
Daphne places a personal ad and sets about screening candidates for Milly—without her daughter's knowledge, of course. Two contenders emerge and romantic mayhem ensues, but never are you left wondering how things will work out in the end. The movie plays out like a freshman film school project with a big budget; it's very pretty to look at and every plot twist (or rather: slight curve) is telegraphed with ...1
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Because I Said So
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