'In the Land of Women'

Adam Brody made his name playing a neurotic, self-absorbed California Jew on The O.C., so it's no surprise that he's cast as a whiny L.A. Heeb named Carter Webb in this maudlin, formulaic affair. Webb goes to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) and nurse a broken heart, but instead ends up befriending a dysfunctional mother-daughter duo (Meg Ryan and Kristen Stewart) who teach him the real—as opposed to the fake—meaning of love. Brody shows glimpses of life after suspended adolescence, and Dukakis is hilarious. Too bad Meg Ryan's new plastic face keeps us from noticing her decent-enough performance. And too bad writer-director Jon Kasdan—son of Lawrence and brother of current box-office competitor Jake—lays on the saccharine pronouncements thick. Without all the soppy plot devices, the Land of Women might have been someplace worth visiting.

 
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