8- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, Noveter 10,1993
Not just the usual sappy melodrama.
By ALEXANDRA TWIN
"The less you have, the more it hurts when you
lose it," is one of a dozen bumper sticker-like
slogans that pervade "A Home of Our Own."
Unfortunately, this may not only be true, but could
also serve to define the film itself. Although not
A Home Of Our Own
Directed by Tony Bill; written by Patrick
Duncan; with Kathy Bates and Edward Furlong.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Yes, yes,
the title does make you want to immediately write
the film off as being just another one of those
typical "woman on her own / triumph of the
human spirit / family bonding conquers all / com-
ing of age in some hick town in Idaho is cool 1/guys
named Norman suck / Japanese neighbors who
sporadically pop up to deliver seemingly random
monologues about dead people you've never met,
and then leave just as suddenly, actually know the
secret to happiness" sappy melodramas. How-
ever, you're wrong. It's just not that simple.
"A Home of Our Own" is the story of the
Lacey's, a financially-struggling single-parent
family forced to move to a "fixer-upper" in Idaho
where they realize how poignant the bonds of
family really are.
Now, surely we all have the capacity to sym-
pathize with the "Lacey Tribe" - to feel their
pain, their struggle, their calluses. The quest for a
home of one's own is truly a noble one, and what
man, woman or child would dare to watch the
film's dramatic closing scene without a teary eye?
Even the most bitter, hardened soul could hardly
go unmoved. In our hearts, we all want the Lacey's
of the world to succeed. It's just kind of hard to
root for them when they're so damned stupid.
Did you know that "fire is bad?" Did you?
Well Murray, the middle Lacey, certainly didn't.
Did you wonder if yelling at mom and dredging up
dead dad's memory might make her a little testy?
Shane, the oldest, sure didn't. And did it ever
occur to you that unmarried, balding, middle-
aged guys who work in bowling alleys and don't
believe in the concept of deodorant are not neces-
sarily prime candidates for "bachelor of the year?"
Hmm. Well, it hadn't occurred to Mom.
This stupidity is through no fault of the actors,
who invest their characters with as much honesty,
grit and visible depth of soul as is possible. The
often exceptional Kathy Bates is, unsurprisingly,
exceptional. Not many film actors are capable of
even occasionally filling their characters with the
complicated and often unflattering array of emo-
tions that Bates routinely imparts. She saves the
film from being a total sapfest, and it is her
strength that brings out the best in the other actors
around her, in spite of director Tony Bill's incli-
nation to urge the six children to occasionally
overact. This tendency is particularly prevalent in
the case of Edward Furlong, who plays Shane, and
whose scenes with Bates are both some of the@
film's most emotional, and most wince-inducing,
due to their sometimes soap-opera like quality.
Nevertheless, if you can stomach a few of
those "I love you, man!" scenes and are willing to
look past the occasionally mawkish dialogue, so
as to get at what's beneath, you may very well find
the film wholly auspicious. Uplifting? Well, yes,
but it's also depressing as hell; definitely not a
film to see on a bad hair day. However, it is a
reasonably fair and possible account of personal*
struggle. If the later scenes start to pull it down a
bit to the ranks of a common tear-jerker, it at least
manages to keep its dignity for the most part;
there's not much that's embarrassing about this
film. However, there's quite a bit that's worth-
while, and realistically, that's probably the most
that you can hope for from this film.
A HOME OF OUR OWN is playing at Show-
~Some restrictions doapply.Otrdffs E.xsigdesignsoniy.See your
< mst berecewued be Thanksgiving LDay. 7.serRepesentatvefoidetai5.
Stop by and see a Jostens representative
November1O -12 * 11a.m. to 4 p.m.
to select from a complete line of gold rings.
A $25 deposit required.
3i7 South State
(at North University)
Ann Arbor, MI
book & supply
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Monday, November 15, 1993
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